WICHITA FALLS — For 71 minutes Friday, Guyer and Wichita Falls seemed destined to play an overtime game to see who would advance to the Class 4A Region I sectional round.
But with one ill-fated decision, Guyer’s season came to an end at Memorial Stadium as a Coyote goal in the 72nd minute notched Wichita Falls a 1-0 victory, continuing its historic season as a first-time outright district champion.
A Wichita Falls corner was sent over the head of Guyer keeper Carlos Enriquez, who had come off his line, and on to the head of a free-charging Jorge Martinez, who sent the ball into the back of the Guyer net for the game winner.
“I think he made a decision to come get the ball, and it got in a little bit on the back side,” Guyer coach Cody Schroeder said. “He probably should’ve stayed home, but he had a great last set of games to get us to this point. We left the guy unmarked, and they made the play on the one chance they had to make.”
The goal followed a back-and-forth game that saw several chances for both squads but really only one or two great opportunities for either.
Wichita Falls (13-6-3) was playing with its backup keeper, as sophomore Mitchell Kurtz was making his third start, and Guyer (10-12-2) was unable to take advantage of the inexperience.
Kurtz finished the night with seven saves, as the Wildcats’ attack never was able to develop the way Schroeder had hoped.
Kurtz was threatened most on a shot by Collin Christian in the 29th minute from 15 yards out, which he was able to punch out of harm’s way. In the 67th minute, the Wildcats had perhaps their best chance to take control of the match when a Luis Muro cross was headed into the ground by Anthony Cordiero in front of the net, but Kurtz was able to deflect the ball to his left before it was cleared.
“I wish we would’ve been a little more consistent on getting the attack out wide, but they did a good job of closing us down and putting pressure on us,” Schroeder said. “They did a good job of making it harder to get the ball where we wanted to get it.”
After all of that, it was the Martinez goal that ended Guyer’s season, and Wichita Falls coach Patrick McCauley said he was thankful his team had the chance in the seesaw affair.
“It made for a fun game to watch,” McCauley said. “The kids were up for it and just saw the game out — that’s what you’ve got to do. If you get a goal on a set piece, then things are going to work out for you.”
Schroeder praised his senior class, specifically a core group of Connor Bourgeios, Michael Munoz, Jordan Reyes and Muro, and said his program is set for its move to Class 6A next year.
“We’re losing some good players, but we’ve got a bright future,” Schroeder said. “We’ll have a number of kids next year who are a year older, a year smarter, a year more physically prepared, and we should be able to transition into 6A and be very competitive.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.