Facing Lambert in the GHSA Class AAAA final Friday night, the Wolfpack surrendered two goals in the first half and it would be too much to overcome as the Longhorns won 5-0.
The Longhorns completed a perfect season, going 23-0 in only their third year.
Wolfpack seniors had advanced to the quarterfinals in each of their previous seasons. While upset with his final game’s result, at least one senior was able to reflect positively on advancing to the championship round.
“It was a great feeling,” said Luke Waechter of playing in a final. “I loved playing with the guys all throughout high school. I couldn’t even explain to you how great a journey it’s been with all of them. We made it this far and at least we went down as a team.”
The Wolfpack finished 20-2-1 and while disappointed, head coach Chip Warren appreciated his team.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of guys ever,” he said. “They played well and represented the school with class, I thought. I’d go into battle with them any time.”
The Wolfpack had no answer for Longhorns’ striker Bakawsu Kinteh, who entered with 40 goals. He was in the right place at the right time, scoring the Longhorns first two goals on rebounds, and finished with four goals.
This coming against a Wolfpack squad that had not allowed a goal in four games in the state tournament.
Right after Kinteh scored his second goal of the first half with 10:17 to go, the Wolfpack struck right back and just missed its best chance of the night. From the left side, Drew Fransoso worked the ball to the middle in front to Adam Cundey. Longhorns’ goalie Michael Zambetti made a great save on Cundey’s shot and Waechter missed wide right on the rebound.
“Our goalie tonight made a game-changing save,” said Longhorns head coach Chris Wilson.
Seeing the opponent celebrating could stick with the Wolfpack for a while, but it might be something they can use in the 2013 season.
“It’s good fuel for next season,” junior Michael Harris said. “We can get to the championship game next year and get revenge. We’re capable of doing it.”