LONGVIEW — There was a moment in the second half when Whitehouse coach Chris Clemons felt confident about his team’s chances. That slipped away about 30 seconds later.
Darwin Amaya scored from a wicked angle with less than 10 minutes remaining to ice Mount Pleasant’s 2-0 win over the Wildcats in the Class 4A area boys soccer playoffs Wednesday at Lobo Stadium.
“They are a very talented team,” Clemons said.
Mount Pleasant (16-2-6) advances to meet John Tyler in the sectional round at 7 p.m. Friday at Tyler Junior College’s Pat Hartley Field. The winner will earn a berth in next week’s regional tournament.
Amaya’s goal crushed the hopes of the Wildcats, who finished the season 16-7-2 after winning in the playoffs for the first time in five years last week. He broke free toward the right side of the goal and unleashed the shot into the opposite corner past Whitehouse goalkeeper Brandon Cottrell, who made several highlight saves in the game.
Federico Hernandez scored the Tigers’ first goal in the 13th minute of the opening half on a rebound. Ismael Fernandez set up the goal by blasting a shot toward Cottrell, who blocked it but left the goal wide open.
“I thought we played well,” Mount Pleasant coach Jason Mayfield said. “I thought we played smart. I think both goals were very creative.”
Whitehouse’s strategy was to play defense, let the Tigers possess the ball and counter attack, Clemons said. That meant the Wildcats’ offensive attempts were limited throughout the game, which was postponed from Tuesday because of inclement weather.
Whitehouse’s only shots on goal in the second half came on two free kicks from midfield. The Wildcats got the ball inside the box on multiple occasions, but never got a good look.
Mount Pleasant was quick to the ball and played good defense, Clemons said.
“That’s what we do,” Mayfield said. “We play defense.”
Whitehouse Girls To Meet Pine Tree
Whitehouse will meet Pine Tree in the 4A girls sectional playoffs at 8 p.m. today at Pine Tree Stadium.
The LadyCats advanced to the game with an 11-0 victory over Liberty-Eylau on Monday, while Pine Tree eliminated Mount Pleasant 5-0 on Wednesday.
It will be the second game of a doubleheader that also features the Kilgore and Henderson boys sectional matchup, which begins at 6 p.m.