UIL state soccer Class 6A semifinals: Katy Seven Lakes defeats Duncanville to advance

For the first time in over 37 years, the Duncanville boys soccer program made an appearance at the UIL state tournament.

The Panthers, however, were unsuccessful in their quest to win a state championship for the first time since the 1986 season. Katy Seven Lakes defeated Duncanville 2-0 at Birkelbach Field to advance to the Class 6A state championship at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“Duncanville is extremely physical and aggressive,” Seven Lakes head coach Jimmy Krueger said. “It took a little bit of an adjustment with the early contesting of any sort of 50-50 ball. But in the second half, they cam out and matched that intensity. And then everything else took care of itself.”

If Seven Lakes is victorious, the program will win back-to-back championships. The Spartans will face either Austin Vandegrift (22-2-2) or Lewisville Flower Mound (22-2-2), depending on Friday’s final Class 6A semifinal contest.

Seven Lakes got its first goal four minutes into the second half when Noa Stasic recieved a pass from Aidan Morrison deep in Panther territory. He collected himself and fired a successful shot from 25 yards out.

Kruegar said he celebrated a bit before the shot because he knew his team was in a solid position to score.

“When (Morrison) gets a hold of the ball, good things happen,” Kruegar said. “He was able to get out wide and connect with Noa Stasic.”

The Spartans got an insurance goal from Eduardo Davalillo, who finished a solid pass from Kortay Koc.

Kruegar said Davalillo is a big body with a great work ethic who tends to capitalize on opportunities in front of the goal. He added his team made a good play getting the ball across the box.

The Duncanville Panthers, who had seven shots on goal in the game, failed to respond.

Although Duncanville’s offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard, they had three solid chances in the match.

First, forward Eduardo Alaniz put a rocket of a shot on goal with just over 10 minutes to go in the half. Seven Lakes goalkeeper Benjamin Aviles made a spectacular save, getting a hand on the ball and redirected it into the post.

A few minutes later, Duncanville forward Mouhamed Gueye crossed a ball towards the goal and Aviles made the save. The ball rebounded off him to Fabricio Martinez, who took a point blank shot that was saved by Aviles.

With five minutes remaining, Alaniz found himself tight in front of the goal with the ball rolling his way. He put up an immediate shot, but Aviles, once again, was there to make the save and secure the shutout.

Kruegar said Aviles has been “absolutely sensational” and that his play gives the entire team confidence.

“So, he’s not just an All-American on paper,” Kruegar. “He’s truly a gifted goalie and he can get to any ball. He’s been big for us these past two years. “