Written by SportsDayDFW.com
4A Region I soccer finals: Guyer girls break through, oust TC Byron Nelson to reach state tournament
WICHITA FALLS — Brittany Crabtree has scored 37 goals for Denton Guyer this season, but none were bigger for her or the Lady Wildcats’ program than the one she scored in the 43rd minute of Saturday’s Class 4A Region I final.
With midfielder Kaitlyn Caro out of the game after suffering a possible concussion in Friday’s regional semifinal win, Guyer had to turn to a new corner-kick taker in Hannah Alspach. After more than a half of soccer was played at a stalemate, the dynamic scoring duo finally broke through for the Lady Wildcats, leading to an eventual 3-0 win over District 11-4A foe Trophy Club Byron Nelson and a berth in the state tournament.
Alspach’s corner was headed by Crabtree directly into the ground in front of the Nelson goal, but the ball took a high bounce over the head of Nelson keeper Bonnie Ruten and into the back of the net, leaving Crabtree in a bit of shock but exhilarated.
“I was amazed it went in, but I was so glad to get that first goal,” said the Guyer sophomore, who scored two goals. “We know once they get down they’re kind of going to back off a little bit, and once we get the second they’ll back off a little more.”
The goal not only got Guyer on the scoreboard after Nelson had seized momentum for much of the first half, but it also was a huge weight off the team’s shoulders and might have put some doubt in the minds of the Lady Bobcats.
“I think they had momentum the first half and we came out and got our goal,” Guyer coach Kenny Blevins said. “All of them were big, but that first goal is always the most important.”
Guyer (26-1) moves on to face an undetermined opponent in the state semifinal on Thursday in Georgetown. The winner of that game will advance to the state championship game on Saturday.
Nelson, he 2012 state finalist, ends its season with a 27-3-1 record, with all three of those losses coming to the Lady Wildcats. Guyer defeated Nelson twice on its way to an undefeated district season, 4-1 on Feb. 12 and 2-1 on March 5. “We’ve seen them three times,” Nelson coach Philip Salyer said. “We knew they’d be the team here.”
Guyer’s defense withstood a relentless attack from Nelson over the game’s first 15 minutes, turning away a couple of shots on goal while thwarting several other good runs at the goal by Nelson’s athletic forward Marchelle Davis.
The biggest first-half scoring chance for Nelson came about midway through the half when Hannah Rackmeyer took a run into the box and was tackled by Guyer defender Peyton Bucklew. The Lady Bobcats protested for a foul to be called but the play resulted in a Nelson corner kick instead, which was turned away.
Guyer added a third goal when another corner kick from Alspach sailed over a leaping Crabtree’s head to a waiting Telia Young, who headed it into the back of the net to ice the game.