If there was ever a bittersweet night for Kilgore High School soccer, there's no question it was Saturday in Mineola.
The good came first, a 3-0 win for the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs over Palestine, and with it, a punched ticket to the UIL Region 2 tournament at Longview's Lobo Stadium next weekend.
Then the bad, unfortunately: an 8-0 loss by the Kilgore Bulldogs, the defending Class 4A state champions, to Palestine.
The 'Dogs, who have had an unbelievable run of district championships and state tournament appearances in the last decade, end their season with a 20-7-2 record.
* Kilgore 3, Palestine 0 (girls): After a scoreless first half, Kilgore's Kylie Nichols finally broke things open with a goal less than eight minutes into the second half.
As it turned out, Nichols's goal would be the only one the Lady 'Dogs needed -- their defense, including goalkeeper Sarah Loomis, shut out the Lady Wildcats the entire game.
But for good measure, coach Heidi Hagan's Lady Bulldogs added two more: a goal by Tori Shipman on a penalty kick, then another from Rylie Mann to give KHS the 3-0 win.
It sends Kilgore's girls back to the Region 2 tournament again this season. The Lady Bulldogs, two seasons removed from a state tournament appearance, will play in the regionals next Friday against Mabank. That will be an 11 a.m. start next Friday morning.
Mabank defeated Princeton on Friday to earn its regional spot.
Kilgore is now 18-5-2 on the season.
* Palestine 8, Kilgore 0 (boys): Obviously, this was a surprising score to many. Coach Tom Wait's Bulldogs were impressive for most of the season, and did, of course, win another district championship.
But Palestine, now 32-0, apparently sought revenge from last year's playoff loss to Kilgore on the Bulldogs' route to their state title.
Palestine led 3-0 at the half, and Kilgore couldn't make the comeback this time. Of Kilgore's seven losses this season, they lost to the Wildcats four times (most all of those early in the season).
Palestine's Javier Lenor scored three goals.