In a stunning upset, the Kilgore High School Bulldogs’ 2021 soccer season ended at Longview High School’s Lobo Stadium on Tuesday night.
Sabine’s Lady Cardinals saw their season end in round two, as well, as North Lamar dealt Sabine a 2-1 season-ending loss.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Kilgore girls won, and advanced in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A playoffs.
Kilgore’s Lady Bulldogs, though, coached by Todd BonDurant, were to play a 4A third-round game on Friday against Bullard, in Whitehouse. Due to Good Friday, the News Herald’s deadline was moved up, so to see how Kilgore-Bullard came out, go to the sports section on kilgorenewsherald.com now.
To get there, though, the Lady ‘Dogs had to hold off a scrappy Pleasant Grove team, and did – Kilgore beat Pleasant Grove, 1-0, the “one” coming in the first half, a goal by senior Cristina Rosas.
There were some close calls, but the Lady Bulldogs made it through.
“We played with heart and determination,” BonDurant said. “All of them did great, just great.”
BonDurant singled out the entire team, with particular focus on Rosas, Estrella Galvan, and Glorida Cedillo.
The night became bittersweet later, though, at Lobo Stadium, where Kilgore’s boys suffered the season-ending defeat to Pittsburg.
The Bulldogs, coached by Tom Wait, faced a tough Pirates team they had beaten earlier this year. But this time, shockingly, it was Pittsburg coming out on top, a 5-4 win in a shootout. The game ended in a scoreless tie in regulation.
Kilgore finishes the season with 23 wins, and a District 15-4A championship. But unfortunately, it’s the earliest exit for the Bulldogs – not counting last year’s COVID-19 cancelation of the playoffs – in well over a decade.
Sabine, coached by former KHS coach Heidi Hagan (who guided Kilgore to two state tournament appearances), pulled a first-round upset and knocked off 20-plus-game winner Palestine.
But North Lamar, a Paris-area school, was able to double up the Lady Cardinals in a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night. Sabine was scrappy, getting into the playoffs as the fourth seed in 16-4A (3A teams in Texas can play a 4A schedule in soccer), and Hagan, in her first season, already has a big win over Palestine to show for it.