Lady Wildcats Excited for Future

Lady Wildcats Excited for Future

by Steve Gamel

After winning just four games and finishing at the bottom of District 6-6A a year ago, it appears the Guyer girls soccer team is back and ready to build on a breakout 2018 season.

The Lady Wildcats, who won a state title in 2013, enter this offseason feeling like they have reclaimed a little bit of that championship swagger after winning 14 games and making the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Though that playoff run was cut short – Guyer lost in the first round to Trophy Club Byron Nelson – they believe the sky is the limit moving forward.

“We’re not completely over the loss, but I can’t ask for much more from these girls after a season like that,” first-year coach Mandy Hall said. “As they started playing and winning, and people started noticing, it was great to see them really take ownership of the program.

“I told them the Guyer name had to mean something to them. And over the season, it began to.”

Hall, a former goalkeeper at the University of North Texas who went on to begin her coaching career at Lake Dallas and Denton Braswell, had her work cut out for her this season. Despite her successes, she had never coached at the Class 6A level and was taking over a program that didn’t have a single player with postseason experience. All she did was lead the Lady Wildcats to wins in eight of their first nine games while going on to win eight district games.

Some of those district wins included victories over Plano East, McKinney Boyd, and Plano. In district, the Lady Wildcats racked up four shutouts while allowing just one goal four times.

“From the very beginning, everything worked out well,” Hall said. “These girls were able to buy-in and trust me early, and it was great to see them grow together throughout the year.”

Including its lone playoff game, Guyer scored 61 goals while allowing 24. Amber Lyons, a UNT signee, led the team with 19 goals. Sami Gomez and Olivia Ramirez added seven each to help lead a talented offensive lineup.

Hall said the most impressive thing was watching her team achieve all those mind-boggling stats while competing against some of the toughest teams Class 6A had to offer.

“You’re talking about teams that had top, talented players sitting on their bench,” Hall said. “The depth in Class 6A was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and it was a learning experience for me. But these girls, having played at an elite level with their club teams, were used to it. They had that mentality that every game mattered, and you couldn’t take nights off.”

Hall added, “Amber had a phenomenal season, and you can say the same thing about defenders like Cat Klein. You can’t replace players like that,” Hall said. “The seniors adapted early, and I think really did a great job inspiring the younger group. We may be losing seven girls [to graduation], but we have 16 coming back. It’s a really good group.”

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