The Anna boys and girls soccer teams finished with mixed results in the area round of the 4A state tournament at Denton High School on Friday.
Diamond Hill-Jarvis 1, Anna 0
The Anna girls fell short of getting a playoff win under first-year head coach Scott Turner. Neither side had many shots on goal, but Diamond Hill-Jarvis got the one goal they needed to secure the victory.
“Both teams didn’t produce as many offensive opportunities as they wanted to,” Turner said. “That’s due to organization on both sides and not giving up many chances.”
Down 1-0 at halftime, Anna remained as aggressive as possible in the second half but couldn’t tie things up.
“We played OK at times. Other times, we turned the ball over too much,” Turner said. “We emphasized possession and played better in the second half.”
The Anna girls finished the regular season with a 4-12 record but drew a first-round bye in the state tournament. Diamond Hill-Jarvis won their first-round game 4-1 over Life Waxahachie and now advance to play Melissa in the regional quarterfinals.
Turner praised the defensive play of his junior captain Breana Martin, sophomore midfielder Lauren Schlicht and freshman goal keeper Kaitlyn Long, as well as sophomore forward Abigail Cisneros, junior forward Angelica Armijo and junior forward Emily Hanna for “creating offensive chances.”
Anna 3, Castleberry 2 (2OT)
It took nearly 100 minutes of play, but the Anna boys fought their way to a closely contested win over Castleberry. Anna head coach Matthew Ellis said it was one of the best games he’s ever been a part of.
“Nobody was sitting back trying to defend and find a winner at some point,” Ellis said. “Both teams were on the attack and playing the right way.”
Castleberry showed their skill by getting on the board first in the third minute. They entered the area round with a 16-7-1 record and were district champions in the regular season.
“You get concerned how your team will handle that when you go down so early,” Ellis said. “We kept playing well, possessed the ball well and were able to get one of our own.”
The game-tying goal came of the foot of Jesus Gorrito in the 33rd minute. The freshman took a high bouncing ball 30 yards from the goal and shot it over the goalie’s head.
His older brother, sophomore Carlos Gorrito, gave Anna a 2-1 lead with a goal of his own six minutes into the second half. He found his way behind the defense, went head-to-head with the opposing goalkeeper and fired a shot into the corner.
Castleberry got back in it with a free kick score with 18 minutes remaining. However, they became short-handed just a few minutes later after a red card was handed out, leaving them with 10 players against Anna’s 11.
“Even though they were down a man, they were putting us under a lot of pressure,” Ellis said. “We were just trying to survive and get to overtime.”
Drama ensued in overtime. Anna goalkeeper Javier Segura, a sophomore foreign exchange student from Spain, saved a crucial penalty kick 25 seconds into the period. Castleberry’s potential game-winner came after Anna was called for a handball in the box.
Segura made another pivotal save on a free kick later in the first overtime, allowing more chances for Anna to attack. Jose Rivas took full advantage, ripping the game-winner from 20 yards out with five minutes remaining in the second overtime.
The Anna boys played Life Oak Cliff on Tuesday at Wildcat Rams Stadium Lake Highlands HS in regional quarterfinals. Kickoff was at 7:30 p.m.
“Every situation that you can’t replicate in practice was replicated on Friday night,” Ellis said. “It’s massive knowing they can handle any situation presented to them in future games.”