WICHITA FALLS — All season long, Guyer coach Kenny Blevins has waited for his defending state championship team to come together and resemble last year’s squad.
Starting with Tuesday’s playoff-opening win over Azle, Blevins said he’s started to see it.
That trend continued Friday with a 6-0 win over Wichita Falls Hirschi at Memorial Stadium that saw the starters play only a half and a second-half hat trick from senior reserve Odalys Lopez.
“I’ve seen the team take a big step with that Azle game, with their intensity and competitive level,” Blevins said. “It’s all night and day from the regular season. I’m not having to do anything extra. They’ve come out with the energy I’ve been looking for.”
Guyer (16-2-3), the defending Class 4A champion, advances to the sectional round of the Region I playoffs, where the Lady Wildcats will face Wichita Falls on Friday.
Hirschi (6-10-4), making its first playoff appearance, was outmatched from the beginning. Guyer outshot the Huskies 9-0 in the first half but didn’t break through on the scoreboard until the 19th minute when Hannah Alspach made a 25-yard run at the net before juking Hirschi’s charging keeper and sending a right-footed shot into the open net for her 21st goal of the season.
Jasmine Heffley added a goal on a penalty kick two minutes later, and Brittany Crabtree’s 21st goal in the 30th minute sent Guyer to a 3-0 halftime lead.
Lopez added three goals in the final 12 minutes of the match.
“I think we had a rough start to the season,” said Alspach, an Auburn signee who was named MVP of the state championship game last season. “It’s a new team. I thought it’d be a lot of the same from last year; it’s a new team with new chemistry. We just had to find it, and I think we finally did.”
Guyer outshot the Huskies 14-0 over the course of the match, as the ball rarely left Hirschi’s defensive half.
Early on, Guyer had several offsides calls, including one on an apparent goal from Crabtree that was whistled for offsides after the ball was in the back of the net.
“Hirschi did a good job of keeping their backs high and taking away the space for our forwards, so we were getting a lot of offsides calls,” Blevins said. “We made some adjustments there and we kind of got used to it. Then it began to open up for us.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.