CORINTH — The Guyer Wildcats held their breath and played bend-but-don’t-break defense for 100 minutes of regulation and overtime soccer Thursday.
Coppell hit three posts and one crossbar, watching scoring chances go to waste.
When both teams failed to put the ball in the back of the net, the game went to penalty kicks to decide who would survive Round 1 of the Class 6A playoffs.
Coppell goalkeeper Austin Simigan stopped two shots from Guyer’s Anthony Jimenez and Utah Mansell to give Coppell a 4-3 advantage on penalty kicks and a 1-0 victory.
It marked the Wildcats’ first blemish since Feb. 5 and halted an 11-game unbeaten streak. It was Guyer’s first trip to the playoffs since 2014.
“We’ve had a great season,” Guyer coach Cody Schroeder said. “We knew we were playing against a high-quality opponent. I felt we had a good game plan to defend them, and they became frustrated throughout the evening because of their missed opportunities. I just felt as if we didn’t create enough offensive opportunities.”
It wasn’t until 57 minutes into the game that Guyer found its first scoring chance. Carlos Alcala received a corner kick and headed it toward the right corner of the goal. Simigan made a leaping save to keep the Wildcats off the board.
The teams traded scoring opportunities during the overtime periods, and with just a minute remaining, Coppell had a large opening to put one past Guyer goalie Jacob Headrick. Defender Oscar Perez slid in front of the Coppell attacker and barely caught a piece of the ball to preserve the shutout for Guyer.
After the first three Cowboys converted their penalty shots with ease, senior midfielder Johnny Koponen scored the fourth and final penalty kick for Coppell.
Coppell has won eight of its last 10 games and will play the winner between Grand Prairie and Dallas Skyline next week in the area round.