Wilmer-Hutchins Ends Pittsburg’s Run With 2-1 Regional Semifinal Victory
TYLER -- There was not much separation between Pittsburg and Wilmer-Hutchins, but a critical mistake by Pittsburg late in the opening half proved to be the difference.
A foul inside the box allowed Wilmer-Hutchins to attempt and subsequently make a penalty kick minutes before halftime in the Eagles' 2-1 win over Pittsburg in their Class 4A Region II semifinal Friday night at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Wilmer-Hutchins (16-2-1) will meet Kilgore (24-3-1) for the regional championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday back in Tyler, a berth in next week's UIL state soccer tournament up for grabs.
Shots and attempts on goal were nearly a draw between the Eagles and Pittsburg (19-4), but Wilmer-Hutchins was able to make the most of its scoring chances in a game that was dominated by ball possession and less by each team's offensive attack.
Facing a two-goal deficit for almost the entirety of the second half, the Pirates finally got on the board with 27 seconds remaining when Eric Cisneros found Victor Ponce, who pushed a shot past Wilmer-Hutchins keeper Marcia Noyola.
That goal came moments after a Pittsburg shot was cleared by Eagles defender Anthony Jasso on the back line.
Pittsburg had two opportunities earlier in the half to cut into the deficit -- both on Ponce free kicks. The first came from 26 yards out on the right side of the goal, but Noyola came up with the save. Two minutes later, Ponce's free kick from just outside the box to the right was cleared away by the Wilmer-Hutchins defense with 19:30 remaining in regulation.
Wilmer-Hutchins grabbed a 1-0 lead with 26:26 to play in the opening half when Daniel Alvarado's free kick from 28 yards away glanced off Eagles forward Imari Parham and past Pittsburg goalie Joseph Gutierrez.
Late in the half, Saul Gonzalez was tackled by Gutierrez inside the box, which drew a foul and resulted in a penalty kick. Gonzalez's shot was true, and Wilmer-Hutchins went in front, 2-0, with 6:04 remaining until halftime.
For the match, Wilmer-Hutchins held a slim edge on Pittsburg in shots, 10-7, and shots on goal, 8-7.