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Clock strikes Midnight on Cardiac Kids: Bearcats’ Cinderella season ends as Wakeland takes state title with 3-1 win

Aledo goalkeeper Konrad Garbowski consoles midfielder Micco Little (4) following the Bearcats' 3-1 loss to Frisco Wakeland Saturday afternoon in the boys’ Class 5A state championship match at Georgetown. The Bearcats finish the season with a 25-1-4 record. Photo by Chris D’Avino

Frisco Wakeland scored twice in the second half to break open a close match and limited Aledo scoring opportunities with deft ball control as the Wolverines defeated the Bearcats, 3-1, Saturday afternoon in the boys’ Class 5A state soccer championship match at Birkelbach Field on the campus of Georgetown High School.

The Bearcats magical season ends with a 25-1-4 record. Wakeland has won the past two boys’ 5A state championships.

“This doesn’t take away from an exciting and successful season,” Bearcats head coach Derek Vierling said, “but right now it really hurts. But there are about 245 schools (in Class 5A) that would trade places with us. The guys never quit; they scored a goal with a minute left. The guys kept trying and never quit.

“We played differently in the first half compared to the second half. We felt like we could get more possession in the mid field, but Wakeland was killing us down the flanks (with speed). We changed everything up in the second half.

“When Wakeland got the second goal – on a beautiful shot – we had to change everything since we were two goals down. At that point we were taking chances to try and cut the lead to a goal and we gave up another goal.

“But hey, we had to try to generate offense. If you lose a state championship by a goal you weren’t trying very hard. That is the way I look at it.

“I mean, 1-0 or 100-0 is still a loss. We had no choice but to take chances late in the game.”

Leading 1-0, Wakeland controlled play for most of the second half. Aledo had two scoring opportunities on corner kicks, but each time the ball was headed away by the Wakeland defenders.

But with 15:20 remaining in the match, Wakeland put the game away when Reid Stewart scored from 20 yards out on the left side.

The Wolverines added a goal for a 3-0 lead with three minutes left to play on a header from William Hitchcock.

Aledo got on the board with 1:13 remaining in the match when the Bearcats were awarded a penalty kick. Senior midfielder Max Owens beat the goalkeeper to the left side to cut the lead to 3-1.

Wakeland staved off a late Aledo scoring opportunity before the clock ran out on the Bearcats.

It was a double title for the school as the Wakeland girls defeated Grapevine in a shootout prior to the boys’ title match.

In the first half, Wakeland controlled much of the action in its offensive end.

The Bearcats had two good scoring opportunities in the first 40 minutes, but two headers – one off a corner kick – deflected over the cross bar.

Aledo goalkeeper Konrad Garbowski made two saves in the first 20 minutes of the half on shots within 10 yards, and a header by Wakeland flew over the net.

With 19:41 left in the opening half Wakeland broke the scoreless tie when sophomore forward Marc Borbonus got to a loose ball from six yards out and deposited into the back of net for a 1-0 lead.

Late in the opening half, the Wolverines continued to put pressure on Garbowski, but the tall goalkeeper swatted away a pair of potential scoring opportunities as the game remained 1-0 in Wakeland’s favor at the half.

Wakeland outshot Aledo 11-2 in the first half.

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