The Brownwood Lady Lions had little trouble advancing past Waco Connally Tuesday night in Region III-4A bi-district action. Capturing the program’s fifth consecutive area championship, however, is expected to be a much greater challenge as Brownwood (15-5-1) tangles with District 35-4A champion Nacogdoches at 5 p.m. in Ennis.
The Lady Lions cruised to a 5-0 victory over Connally Tuesday, while the Lady Dragons from Nacogdoches slipped past Sealy, 1-0, in opening round action.
Victoria Hetrick scored with 3:50 left in regulation to advance Nacogdoches into the second round.
“I don’t know a lot about them,” Lady Lions head coach J.B. Gibbs admitted. “They’re not a direct team, which means they pass the ball around a lot and have a lot of good movement, so they’ll be tough to defend.”
Brownwood, meanwhile, displayed its depth in the opening round of the playoffs as five different Lady Lions chipped in one goal apiece. Ashley Vaccaro, Josie McClung, Alexis Mosqueda, Jennifer Martinez and Josie Borgia put the ball in the net for the Lady Lions Tuesday.
“The girls continue to find ways to win, which is not surprising because they've kept doing it,” Gibbs said. “There’s not usually a star for us or a one-person performance. It’s usually the team playing well together, and Tuesday is a great example with five different goal scorers. We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now and we’ll see what we can do against a district champion.”
Gibbs is not concerned with the quick turn around between playoff games as Nacogdoches also played its bi-district game Tuesday night in Porter.
“I would have liked for the game to have been Friday, but it’s Good Friday and not many facilities were willing to open,” Gibbs said. “Both teams are facing the same turn around, so I’m OK with it.”
Among the keys to victory tonight, Gibbs stated the Lady Lions must keep their composure throughout, even if they were to fall behind early.
“If we were to get down 1-0 or 2-0 early, we can’t stop,” Gibbs said. “It would be nice if that didn’t happen, but if it does we have to remember there’s plenty time to fight back and make sure it doesn’t get worse.”
Today’s winner will face either Waco University or Lufkin Hudson in the sectional round next week.