To call a 1-0 game a blowout may require you to take a second look. But if you were in Argyle last Friday for the Byron Nelson boys’ 1-0 victory over Gainesville, then you could understand why the word could be used.
Short of the Gainesville keeper standing on his head to make saves, the Bobcats (22-1-2) were really never threatened and closed out the Leopards in the area round. In the March 25 Class 4A Region I bi-district opener, the Bobcats dominated White Settlement Brewer, 4-0.
Nelson advances to the sectional round – Class 4A has one more playoff round than 5A – and will play Wichita Falls at 4 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls.
“[Gainesville’s] keeper made a bunch of great saves to keep them in it,” Nelson head coach Howard Putter said. “We got a lot of shots on goal and also missed some easy ones. That happens. Really, the only time they had that made us a little nervous was when they were within 18 yards of the net with about 10 minutes to play. But our defenders covered it pretty well. We had possession of the ball for most of the first half.”
The only goal turned out to be on a penalty kick from Nathan Shank midway through the first half. In the win over Brewer, the Bobcats were pretty patient with their scoring possessions and their shots.
That’s exactly what Putter wants from his team as it continues to play in the postseason.
Here we go again
A team Putter believed had a really good chance to get to the Class 4A state tournament last year had its season end in the sectional round.
And everybody connected with the Nelson boys soccer community carries hard feelings. A controversial 2-1 loss to Wichita Falls Rider left people frustrated. Well, there won’t be a rematch with Rider. But the Bobcats have to be ready for a very improved Coyotes squad that won the district championship and has a very good defense.
The Bobcats should be at full strength. Zack Ullman returned from his concussion last week and played well against both Brewer and Gainesville. Brett Powell could have returned for the Gainesville game because he had pretty much recovered from his ankle injury. However, Putter said he didn’t need to play him. Because of that, Powell had another week to get ready.
As for facing Wichita Falls, playing the Coyotes at Memorial Stadium really takes on a different tone. It’s like having an out-of-body experience. Other Nelson teams know all too well about that. Both the boys and girls basketball teams struggled up there. And the football team had to hang on to beat the Coyotes. Putter lost a coin flip to play the game up north.
“They normally do a great job of protecting their turf and taking things to another level,” Putter said. “We’re just going to have to play a good game because they’re playing really well.”