JUSTIN — Goalkeeping for the Guyer boys has been a bit of a problem at times this season.
In the biggest game of the year, it ended up extending the Wildcats’ season.
Before an offensive explosion from Guyer at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half, senior goalkeeper Carlos Enriquez was putting together his finest outing of the season as Guyer rolled to a 5-1 win over Aledo to claim a bi-district championship.
“They made a big difference in the outcome,” Guyer head coach Cody Schroeder said of Enriquez’s 13 saves. “We had a couple of early opportunities and didn’t get anything out of it. Then, we gave up a couple opportunities and he came up really big.
“When he plays like that, he gives a great opportunity to be successful.”
Guyer (10-11-2), the third seed from District 11-4A, advances to play District 9-4A champion Wichita Falls (12-6-3) in the area round of the Class 4A Region I playoffs on at 6 p.m. Friday at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium. Guyer opened the season with a 1-0 loss to the Coyotes.
Enriquez, who was reinserted as the team’s starting keeper just before district play, had a rough two-game stretch when he allowed seven goals in consecutive losses to Denton and Trophy Club Nelson. But other than those two losses, Enriquez has helped carry the Wildcats.
“He was very good in eight of those 10 district games, and he was really just fantastic tonight,” Schroeder said.
Aledo (11-4-4), the runner-up from District 12-4A, had plenty of chances early while the match was still knotted in a scoreless tie. Just five minutes into the match, Enriquez punched a cross out from in front of the net and hustled to smother a shot off the foot of an awaiting Aledo attacker.
In the 22nd minute, Aledo’s Christian Hill ripped a shot from 30 yards out that Enriquez was able to pin between the post and crossbar and force an Aledo corner.
After Enriquez successfully held off the Bearcats in the first half, the Guyer attack finally got going in the closing minutes of the opening half.
In the 39th minute, Collin Christian gave the Wildcats a two-goal cushion when he followed up a shot from Michael Munoz that rebounded off the crossbar. Christian’s jumping header, the first of his two goals on the night, put Guyer up 2-0 after the Wildcats broke through on the scoreboard first in the 35th minute on a penalty kick from Connor Bourgeios.
Before five minutes had eclipsed in the second half, Guyer was up 4-0 on goals from Israel Castillo and Christian before Anthony Cordiero added a goal in the 71st minute.
“The first and last five minutes of a half is crucial,” Schroeder said. “You can’t give up goals in that time, and you have to make plays. We were focused, energetic and enthusiastic. We were able to get in a few big goals. It was a big confidence boost.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.