Frisco Wakeland is closing in on a three-peat and Houston ISD’s search for the elusive first state soccer championship continues.
Wakeland bested Sharpstown in a 2-1 win in the Class 5A boys soccer state semifinal on Thursday at Georgetown ISD’s Birkelbach Field.
Wakeland, the two-time defending state champions, meet El Paso Bel-Air at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Sharpstown was in the state tournament for the first time.
It was a notable moment for the Houston ISD school, which only had baseball state championships to its name from 1977 and 1982.
The teams were scoreless through 28 minutes with chances among both until Wakeland senior forward Alex Wing banged a header in off a cross from junior defender Nathan Guindon.
If that score put a damper on staying tied with the two-time defending champions through the majority of the first half, a goal from Wakeland junior midfielder William Hitchcock with eight seconds before the break gave Sharpstown an even bigger hole to dig out of.
The Apollos were up for it and had shown that before, winning last weekend’s Region III-5A against Kingwood Park down a man and a coach because of red cards.
Last weekend in the regional final, it was Sharpstown junior midfielder Ulises Reyes’ hat trick that made the difference, especially his two second-half goals. On Thursday in the state semifinal, it was Sharpstown senior forward Josue Carias Ortez answering the bell with a goal in the 51st minute.
It gave Sharpstown a shot at shocking the champions, but it would be all the Apollos mustered for the rest of the night.
Sharpstown might have been in a unique position compared to other teams in the state tournament field this weekend.
Per University Interscholastic League rule, Sharpstown senior midfielder Bryan Jimenez had to sit out during the state semifinal because he was issued a red card for a high kick in the regional final.
Sharpstown made for the third Houston ISD boys soccer outfit to reach the state tournament in as many years.
In 2017, Wheatley won its region but forfeited the win to Washington. It was an all-Houston ISD Region III-4A final that year. The next season Wisdom made the Class 5A state tournament. This year was Sharpstown’s chance in the spotlight.