Written by Corbett Smith
Denton Guyer girls top defending champ Highland Park, 2-1, to win 4A state soccer title
GEORGETOWN — From the start of the season, “Win State,” was the chant Denton Guyer’s girls soccer team used to break every huddle. It seemed far-fetched.
“We kind of thought it was dumb at first,” sophomore forward Brittany Crabtree said.
Guyer didn’t make the playoffs last season in Class 5A before falling to 4A in the recent 2012-14 alignment.
“It always seemed so far away,” junior forward Hannah Alspach said of the chant. “But now, being here, it’s amazing. I still can’t imagine it. It’s a dream come true.”
Crabtree and Alspach made the dream reality on Saturday at Birkelbach Field, with both scoring in a 2-1 win over defending champion Highland Park for the 4A championship, the school’s first girls team title in any sport.
In the process, Guyer (28-1-0) broke a 49-game unbeaten streak for Highland Park (25-1-5), which dated to February 2012.
“We openly talked about this from the very beginning of the year that this was our destination,” Guyer coach Kenny Blevins said.
In the 14th minute, Crabtree used her speed to harass Highland Park defender Caroline Gould, stealing the ball and tucking a shot into the left side of the goal. It was Crabtree’s 40th goal of the season.
Nearly 20 minutes later, Alspach — named the game’s MVP — sprinted down the left flank, beating a defender and guiding in a 25-yard shot into the far upper corner.
Highland Park wouldn’t go down easily, however. Four minutes after halftime, Katie Martin scored her 40th goal of the season, floating a 30-yard shot into the goal over Guyer keeper Mikayla Renfroe.
“The second half, we talked about not feeling sorry for ourselves and leaving it all on the field,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “Getting that early goal, I think, gave us a lot of momentum. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get that second one.”
Highland Park kept pressing, getting several chances on goal in the game’s closing minutes.
“I think that’s the worst  minutes of my life right there,” Blevins said. “It was exciting, and that’s what you want from the game. Highland Park wasn’t going to go down easy. They fought and fought and fought and fought.”
Waco University 1, El Paso Del Valle 0: With 7:11 remaining, senior forward Eli Sanchez tapped in a rebound off a counter attack and shot by Jon Lozano, winning the Class 4A boys title and capping a perfect season for University (33-0-0). It was another last-second win for University, which won its previous two games in shoot-outs, including a 3-2 (4-3) win over Mesquite Poteet in the 4A semifinal. University goalkeeper Adrian Barragan, who scored the winning penalty kick against Poteet, was named the game’s MVP.
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN