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Boys soccer

Broncos oust Bearcats in area round


FLOWER MOUND - The Aledo Bearcats' 2024 soccer season came to an end in the area round of the Class 5A playoffs on Thursday, March 28, falling 2-1 to Denton at Neal Wilson Jaguar Stadium.

For the second round of the playoffs, both teams had quick turnarounds and not much time to rest and recuperate from their first-round matches. The Bearcats defeated Arlington Heights 3-0 on March 26 and the Broncos defeated Burleson Centennial 1-0.

So, both teams had the same amount of time to prepare and address any health concerns that teams that advance in the playoffs normally have when you get into the second season. 

The weather conditions were perfect for the match. At the time of kickoff, it was 69 degrees and just a little breeze.

Each team had opportunities to take the lead before the Broncos (17-5-2) took advantage of a well-played corner kick and grabbed a 2-1 advantage at the 3:11 mark of the first half. That was the score at intermission and the District 7-5A runners-up made it stand in the second half.

Aledo finished the season with a 14-4-6 overall record and was the fourth-place team in District 5-5A. The Broncos were second in District 7-5A with a 9-3-2 record.

Off Austin Randriamahefa’s 24th assist of the season, Elliot Smith was able to put Aledo ahead 1-0 with a shot from right in front of the goal at 15:12, his fourth goal of the season. Bruno Nogueria had an excellent chance from about 20 yards in front of the Broncos’ net for a second goal, but the ball hit off the top of the goal and Denton was able to clear.

The Broncos were able to tie the game at the 14:30 mark of the first half with a shot just outside the left hash mark of the 15-yard line. They scored the game-winner with about three minutes left in the first half.

Both teams worked their offenses better in the second half and created some scoring opportunities, but neither team was able to put the ball in the net. 

“It was a good one. We just came up short,” Bearcats coach Derek Vierling said. “Denton’s attacking three were really good, and we had a couple of freshmen trying to cover them, which made for a difficult night.

“We switched formations tactically to add a second attacking midfielder at the half. I felt like we played much better after the change, unfortunately we just couldn’t score. However, the majority of the second half we had control and kept the ball on their half of the field.

“I thought defensively Hunter Waugh and Robby Sloan played really well, as did goalkeeper Deagan Deitz, who had nine saves - several point blank and several breakaway 1-on-1s late in the game to keep us still in it.”

This was the seventh game for Aledo that was decided by one goal or less this season. The Bearcats were 0-2-5 in those contests.

Denton is 8-4-2 in such contests, continuing their turnaround under first-year coach Jason Hines. The Broncos' 17 victories are more than their three previous seasons combined and this is their first playoff appearance since 2020.


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