FORT WORTH — In less than 100 seconds, Guyer’s girls soccer team was already on its way to advancing in the playoffs.
Guyer scored early and often in the first half of Tuesday’s Class 4A Region I bi-district contest against Azle. The Lady Wildcats used the rapid start to pick up a 4-0 win at Fort Worth Chisholm Trail.
Guyer (15-2-3), the defending 4A state champion, advances to face Wichita Falls Hirschi at 4 p.m. Friday at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium. Guyer coach Kenny Blevins said he was very pleased with his team’s effort.
“We were sharp, something we’ve been trying to get back to,” Blevins said. “It felt good. It was one of the first times this year where I thought ‘Wow, OK. They had the spark.’”
The way Guyer junior Brittany Crabtree finished the regular season, it was only a matter of time until the Texas A&M pledge found the back of the net. She didn’t wait long.
In the second minute of the game, Guyer senior Hannah Alspach crossed the ball into Azle’s 6-yard box. Guyer senior Peyton Bucklew slid the ball across to Crabtree, who tapped it in for the goal.
Crabtree scored two goals against the Lady Hornets (15-6-2), giving the junior eight goals in her last five games. Crabtree said the early goal helped settle the team in its playoff opener.
“Since it’s the first playoff game, it relaxes everybody and makes it not so stressful and the nerves go away,” Crabtree said.
Alspach, who has signed with Auburn, joined in the festivities. After she beat the defense with a run down the left side, Alspach fired a shot into the right corner in the 14th minute.
Guyer senior Jasmine Heffley volleyed in another goal in the 25th minute, and junior Ola Akinniyi assisted Crabtree in the 50th minute.
Crabtree and Alspach, who each have 20 goals on the season, have combined for 62.5 percent of Guyer’s goals this season. As teams have keyed in on the two players, the duo has responded.
“It’s really made it hard for them this year, and it’s been a struggle,” Blevins said. “They haven’t scored as many goals as they did last year, but today they really showed something.”
Azle’s best chance of the game was a direct free kick in the 20th minute that was easily snatched up by Guyer senior goalkeeper Mikayla Renfroe.
A few of the Guyer starters were stretched out on the track surrounding the field at Chisholm Trail for most of the second half. The Lady Wildcats were rewarded for their stellar play across the field against the Lady Hornets.
“I think we had really good possession and we all worked together as a team,” Alspach said. “We were all relaxed. We weren’t too stressful. We just flowed.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.