College Station Girls Soccer Team Knocked Out by TomballSports Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Story by Larry Bowen at theeagle.com
WALLER — College Station’s remarkable first season of girls soccer came to an end Tuesday night, but the Lady Cougars didn’t let it go easily.
Dominated for most of the match, College Station scored twice in the final 11 minutes but could not catch Tomball during a 3-2 loss in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals at wind-whipped Waller ISD Stadium.
Tomball (20-2-2) earned a spot in the Region III tournament Friday in Humble. It will be the first trip to regionals for Tomball, which dropped from Class 5A for this school year.
College Station finished its first season at 22-6-1. The team comprised of sophomores and freshmen won a district championship and three playoff matches despite playing up a classification because the UIL does not have 3A soccer.
“It was a fantastic year,” College Station coach Stoney Pryor said. “The girls are very disappointed with not winning the game. I think the disappointment that they have tonight will fade a little bit as they get down the line and realize that we had a phenomenal inaugural season.”
Tomball had been eliminated by The Woodlands in the first round of the 5A playoffs each of the last two seasons.
“Making regionals for the first time is something that’s special,” Tomball coach Martha Fancher said. “That’s the difference between having 4,000 kids in your school and having 2,000. Class 4A is a good place for us right now.”
College Station’s girls spent much of the match under attack. Tomball scored the only first-half goal despite playing into a strong wind of more than 20 mph. Another goal midway through the second half gave Tomball a 2-0 lead before the Lady Cougars could manage a shot on goal.
However, College Station responded with its best offensive play over the last 15 minutes.
The Lady Cougars pulled within 2-1 with 10:33 remaining when Maddie Kothmann made a strong run down the left side and fired a low cross that was redirected by a Tomball defender for an own goal.
Tomball got some breathing room when Cara Haymaker chased down a length-of-the-field pass with the wind. Lady Cougar goalkeeper Christina Hendershot charged out to block the first shot, but the ball rolled away and Haymaker had plenty of time to connect on the rebound with 2:52 left.
The Lady Cougars answered 30 seconds later when Kinsey Rhome stuck a shot into the upper corner of the goal from 15 yards away with an assist from Jaylen Hinckley.
“I think we got beat by a good team, and we gave them a good game,” Pryor said. “Our fan support was fantastic. In particular with about 15 minutes left when they came down to the rail, you saw our girls pick it up a little bit. That gave us a boost.”
College Station was unable to forge any scoring opportunities in the final 2 minutes.
The Lady Cougars needed good defensive work from Haley Wagner, JJ Handy, Maddie Jenkins and Courtney Aleman to stay within striking distance. Wagner twice kicked balls away from the goal line to prevent scores.
Tomball had a 24-5 edge in overall shots and a 12-2 advantage in shots on goal.
Tomball’s first two goals came on balls that got away from the keeper. Christian Gehring connected off a rebound of a hard shot with 8:50 left in the first half. Monica Otarola got an easy score in the second half when a cross slipped through the keeper’s arms.
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