From the onset of Friday’s rivalry game between Denton and Guyer, Lady Broncos coach Iseed Khoury knew his team was probably in for a long night.
It took just more than six minutes to see his hunch proven true, as Guyer scored two quick goals en route to a 4-0 shutout over Denton in the teams’ District 11-4A opener.
Guyer sophomore Brittany Crabtree notched a hat trick as the Lady Wildcats (10-1) put Denton on its heels early in the match with a fourth-minute goal from Madison Uk (assisted by Crabtree) and a Crabtree goal in the seventh minute.
“The damage had already been done in the first five minutes,” said Khoury, whose team was outshot 21-0. “They scored the early goal, and it was a big mistake on our part. She thought the ball was going out and it didn’t, and that puts us down.”
Even the 2-0 lead was not enough to make Guyer coach Kenny Blevins comfortable, and he made sure his team stayed focused with an offensive onslaught on the Lady Broncos (1-6) that saw five shots hit the posts or crossbar.
“The main thing I’m thinking about right then [up 2-0] was that we needed to respect the game,” Blevins said. “I want to make sure that we don’t get a lead and get a big head. We talk about playing our game whether we’re up 10 goals or down 10 goals. The No. 1 thing we’re thinking about is our next goal.”
Several more of those could have come in the first half, but some meetings with the iron and some fantastic saves from Denton goalkeeper Peyton Lenaberg kept the score within reach. Guyer still led 2-0 at halftime.
But in the second half, Crabtree scored twice within 10 minutes, the first assisted by freshman Gairy Natividad.
Crabtree capped the night’s scoring when she collected a lob pass, chipped it over a defender’s head to her left side, corralled the ball again and fired from within the box for her 20th goal of the season.
“She’s a very talented player,” Blevins said. “I think this might be her fourth hat trick, but she is a team player too. She really cares about her teammates. She is a great talent.”
Khoury knew what he was going to see from the sophomore forward heading into the game.
“I had Crabtree when she was 6 years old [in youth soccer], so I worked with her all throughout her youth,” the longtime Denton coach said. “So I knew what she could do —her and [Guyer forward] Hannah Alspach. Coming into this game, I knew what we were up against on the other side. We tried, but they’re just very quality.”
Though his team came out on the wrong end of a lopsided score, Khoury said he saw a lot that his players can build on heading into a matchup with Birdville.
“That’s what we have to build on,” Khoury said of losing to one of the district’s top teams. “We came into this game realistically knowing we’re playing one of the top teams in the district. If we could get a point that would be a plus, but we knew it would be an uphill battle from the get-go. We did play much better in the second half than we did in the first half, though. Hopefully we can take from that and go to Birdville and come away with a point.”
As for that lopsided score, Blevins said it won’t make him breathe any easier the next time his team squares off with the Lady Broncos.
“If I had my way, I wouldn’t want to play Denton in the first district game,” Blevins said. “With it being a crosstown rival, you can throw all the talent and everything out because in a game like this the kids know each other and they want to win. I was very worried about this game. I’m glad to get it behind me.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.