ENNIS — The Brownwood Lady Lions postseason machine churned out yet another area championship Thursday afternoon — the fifth consecutive for the girls soccer program — in perhaps their most impressive outing of the 2013 campaign.
The Lady Lions posted their second shutout in as many postseason contests, downing District 35 champion Nacogdoches, 2-0, in Region III-4A area playoff action. Brownwood topped Waco Connally by a 5-0 count Tuesday in bi-district action.
“I think this may have been our best performance of the season,” said Lady Lions head coach J.B. Gibbs. “They played extremely well.”
Brownwood needed just 90 seconds to seize the advantage as Alex Bernal scored on a header following a corner kick, while Jennifer Martinez tacked on the second goal with 30 seconds left before halftime.
“We had a pretty big advantage in the first half with a strong wind,” Gibbs said. “We scored a minute and a half into the game and that really set the tone. We had some missed chances later in the half and I was a little worried we wouldn’t take full advantage of having the wind behind our backs, but right before halftime we got the second goal. I think that goal kind of deflated their girls.
“In the second half, with the wind against us, Nacogdoches had the ball in our end a lot more than the first half, but we were still able to create a few chances.”
Katelyn Murphy recorded her second consecutive postseason shutout in goal, and the back line of Jeane Standridge, Maddie Oines, Josie Borgia and Naomi Rosato prevented Nacogdoches from firing many shots at the Lady Lions keeper.
“The girls have been playing very well defensively lately,” Gibbs said. “Katelyn did a good job, especially on one play where she came out in a one on one situation and took the ball away. Katelyn deserves a lot of credit, but the four in front of her have done a good job of keeping her fairly inactive. She only had to come off the line a couple of times.
“In the second half, we identified their best player and Josie Borgia followed her all over the field and she got some back up from Jaime Martinez. But we basically played with five defenders and one forward in the second half and decided we’d try and win the game 2-0.”
The Lady Lions (16-5-1), who have won 16 of their last 17 games after going winless during their first five contests, will face either Waco University or Lufkin Hudson either Thursday or Friday of next week in the Region III-4A sectional round. Playoff games will not be played either Monday or Tuesday due to STAAR testing.