Historic season ends for Wildcat soccer
The Tharptown Wildcat soccer team’s historic season came to an end Friday night in a 2-1 loss to Collinsville in the Class 1A-3A quarterfinals.
The Wildcats finished the season undefeated in their area, going 6-0, and hosted the first and second rounds of the playoffs.
“I love this team. I could not be more proud of this team. They came together and have gotten better as the season progressed,” said Tharptown Coach Scott Vance. “They gave everything they had Friday night against a good Collinsville team but came up short; yet, if I had to go into battle tomorrow, these are the guys I would want by my side.”
Tharptown hosted Tanner in the first round and beat the Rattlers 4-3.
The Wildcats won the match on a penalty kick by Anthony Hernandez with just less than six minutes to go. Hernandez’s kick flew by the outstretched hands of the Tanner goalie.
Tharptown also got goals from Ismael Perez, Rolando Solis and Edwin Vela. Luis Valdez added an assist.
Sabas Avalos had a great game, saving 20 shots on goal and allowing three goals.
In the quarterfinal matchup with Collinsville, Tharptown jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a goal by Perez, assisted by Valdez, and maintained that lead for the rest of the first half and 11 minutes into the second half.
With just less than 30 minutes to go in the game, a brief flash of lightning caused a 30–minute delay. Just after the lightning, heavy rains deluged the field, forcing players and fans alike to scatter and find cover.
Once play resumed, Collinsville scored immediately to tie the game and later took the lead. Tharptown had a couple of opportunities but could not score, bringing the season to an end.
Avalos recorded a two–game total of 26 saves.