After struggling to a 4-10-3 record and a 1-9 mark in District 6-6A last year, the Guyer girls soccer team is well on its way to one of the Denton area’s more notable turnarounds.
Through seven games, the Lady Wildcats are 6-0-1 and have tallied more goals this season (33) than they did all of last year.
The turnaround began when former UNT goalkeeper Mandy Hall, who was the head coach at Braswell last season, took over the reins of the program from longtime Guyer coach Kenny Blevins.
In June, Blevins said the program had the talent to compete at a high level under Hall, and Guyer has done just that.
“It’s been great,” Hall said. “I think the biggest change for us is the girls sort of started to believe in themselves. They’ve always been an incredibly talented bunch, but I think the past years and lack of success really sort of defeated them.”
The Lady Wildcats’ offensive success has been headed by senior Amber Lyons, who has racked up nine goals while scoring in six games.
Freshmen Sami Gomez (five goals, three assists) and Olivia Ramirez (four goals) have contributed immediately in their first year at the varsity level. Juniors Ashley Carter and Taylor Hunter have three goals apiece.
“Amber Lyons has been unbelievable,” Hall said. “I haven’t seen a shot like hers since I was in college. The addition of our freshmen stepping into the offense has been important too. Our system fits us well.”
After dominating the nondistrict portion of the schedule, Guyer took a significant step up in competition when it opened district play against defending District 6-6A champion Plano on Tuesday night.
The Lady Wildcats held a two-goal lead before Plano forced a 3-3 tie with two late goals. While the finish was a disappointing one, Guyer now knows it has what it takes to compete near the top of the district.
Guyer hopes to prove that again at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Plano East, as the Lady Wildcats look to remain unbeaten while vying for their first district win.
“The way we finished against Plano has weighed on a lot of us and especially on me,” senior captain Cat Klein said. “I’ve been annoyed by it. It’s lit a fire under everyone, and I think that’s going to show on Friday.”