CARROLLTON, Texas – Dallas Bryan Adams head coach Harold Mason walked up and down the tunnel at Standridge Stadium after his team’s 2-1 shootout loss Friday in the Class 4A regional semifinals Friday, shaking every players hand and thanking them for the best season in school history.
The loss came as an instant shock to the Cougars when Kilgore’s Brandon Senn bounced his shot over Bryan Adams keeper Angel Guerra and into the goal in the sixth round of the shootout, ending the Cougars' deepest journey into the state playoffs.
Adams (17-3) struck first, scoring in the 44th minute of the match off a 20-yard shot by Erick Rodriguez that found its way into the back right side of the net.
Kilgore hit the equalizer with 15 minutes left in the second half on a 15-yard power shot from Hugo Oria.
Neither team was able to score through two overtime periods, but Adams had the best chance in extra time when a Fernando Rodriguez shot deflected off the diving Kilgore keeper’s hands and hit the joint where the upright meets the crossbar on the goal frame, eventually rolling out of bounds.
Adams keeper Guerra gave his team a chance to win with several very big saves, including two fantastic deflections during the shootout.
“He’s done a great job for us,” Mason said. “He’s the one that’s carried us this far. He’s made great save after great save.”
Adams won the possession game but was unable to make a run that would lead to a game-winning goal.
“For us to reach this level," Mason said, "we had a lot of lucky breaks along the way. ... We did control a lot of the game. But bottom line, it’s got to go in the goal, and we did get several lucky breaks to get this far so that’s just the way the game is.”
Kilgore will face Lucas Lovejoy, which knocked out Mount Pleasant, in Saturday's regional final, with the winner advancing to the state tournament.
Adams' playoff run included wins against West Mesquite, Rockwall-Heath and Carrollton R.L. Turner, which had knocked off ESPN Rise Fab 50 No. 26 Frisco Wakeland.
Mason said above all it was his players' love for the game that helped them have a historic season.
“The team that we had this year, I don’t think we had one or two players that would be considered a superstar," he said. "We just had a bunch of guys that love soccer and work hard.”