For the last decade, Kilgore High School soccer has continued to crescendo, not just boys but the girls program, as well, with the high point being the last two seasons: dual trips to the 4A state tournament two years ago, and a state title for the Bulldogs last year.
But there’s nothing that says that has to be the end of the run, and that’s the way both Kilgore teams are playing right now.
Both Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs got the job done again last weekend, surviving a pair of close calls against rival Henderson teams to win another two games in District 16-4A. The regular season is winding down, and both teams are playing their best soccer right now, at the perfect time.
Kilgore’s Lady ‘Dogs are off the remainder of this spring break week, and are back in action next Tuesday, hosting Carthage, starting at 5 p.m. They only have one more game after that: at Waskom, next Friday, March 23. If coach Heidi Hagan’s Lady Bulldogs win out, they’ll win their district title for the third straight season.
Coach Tom Wait’s Bulldogs are in a similar situation. The Bulldogs play a makeup game at home Friday against Waskom, host Carthage on Tuesday and then play Waskom once more at Waskom next Friday. If Kilgore wins one of its last three district games, the ‘Dogs are once again the district champions. Kilgore has virtually had a stranglehold on their district in the last 10 years.
Kilgore 2, Henderson 1, overtime (boys): Kilgore had only allowed one goal in all of district play, and has rarely trailed, if at all, in the last month and a half. But Henderson did both in the first half, getting the 1-0 lead and putting the pressure on the Bulldogs.
But with about 10 minutes left in regulation, Brandon Hinojos tied things up on a left-foot shot off a head pass from Elian Torres. The teams had to move into an overtime period.
In that OT, a long throw-in by Efrain Mojica was cleared out to a waiting Gavino Baldoza, who put it into the net’s right corner from about 15 yards out.
Goalkeeper Kaleb Jett made several saves throughout the night, including a diving one that looked to be going into the corner of the goal.
The ‘Dogs are now 9-0 in district play.
Kilgore 1, Henderson 0 (girls): This game at Lions Stadium had to be moved to Saturday, after officials weren’t available for the game as originally scheduled.
But Kilgore overcame the schedule change, and the only goal of the contest came in the game’s second half from Kylie Nichols, scoring off an assist by Maliyah Holland.