The Brownwood Lady Lions are seeking their third consecutive Region I-4A quarterfinals playoff berth and to achieve that feat, they must end the Borger Lady Bulldogs’ season for the third year in a row.
District 4-4A third seed Brownwood (10-9) will battle District 2-4A champion Borger at 3 p.m. Friday at Wichita Falls Memorial Stadium in Region I-4A area playoff action. The Lady Lions ousted Borger last year, 1-0, on a goal by Tristan Escamilla just 2:07 after halftime. Brownwood had an easier time in 2015, rolling to a 4-1 victory.
Head coach Keith Robinson realizes with the history between the two teams, the Lady Lions will have a huge target on their backs Friday afternoon.
“The girls are in a good place right now, but this is going to be a tough game,” Robinson said. “(Borger) is going to have a little more fire to them than they would in a normal game, given the fact that we’ve played them twice and beaten them twice in this same round. We have to be aware of their intensity because they don’t want the same thing to happen for a third straight year. We want to continue our string of wins in this round, so we’re going to have to match the intensity and play way above and beyond their intensity because of how much I think they’re going to scratch and claw and fight to move on. We have to stifle that and bring our ‘A’ game.”
The Lady Lions are coming off a 3-0 bi-district victory over Bridgeport. The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, will be playing their first postseason game as Districts 1 and 2 only had three teams, so there was not a fourth seed for Borger to battle in the opening round.
In Brownwood’s bi-district triumph, three separate Lady Lions scored goals — Davalynn Monroe, Madison Chesser and Carly Person.
“That was good to see. We had a lot more opportunities team-wise than we had in the last nine games when we played in district,” Robinson said. “The caliber of opponent allowed us to have some different looks and as the playoffs go on those looks are going to get smaller and fewer. We’re going to have to have a lot more intensity when we go to goal, so it was good to see some other players taking those chances and putting away those opportunities.”
Defensively, goal keeper Channing Barron and the rest of the Lady Lions pitched a shutout.
“I was very pleased with our defense,” Robinson said. “After about 10 minutes in the second half I started changing out the back line and got to look at some other players and they were able to hold Bridgeport out. That’s one thing you want to see as a coach is the defense continue to hold a team out for the entire game and keep their focus and not relax and give up a goal just because the game may be out of hand.”
As for the keys to a Brownwood victory, Robinson stated the most important was not to “shoot ourselves in the foot.”
“We have to keep our composure, stay calm and do what we know how to do. Our defense has to make sure and keep their heads about them and not allow mistakes. Offensively, when we have chances we have to take them and bury them. We don’t want to turn this into a scrap and give Borger a puncher’s chance to stay in the game, then they have that one punch.”
Friday’s winner faces either District 1 champion San Elizario or District 4 runner-up Stephenville in the regional quarterfinal round.