The Brownwood Lions and Lady Lions began their third round of District 4-4A soccer action Friday night at Gordon Wood Stadium with their third defeats in league play at the hands of the Abilene Wylie Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Lions were dealt a 3-1 defeat while the Lions were on the short end of a 2-0 decision and remained winless against 4-4A competition.
For the girls, by the end of the game three midfielders were out with injuries. Maddy Garza was held out of the game due to a concussion, Taylar Kinzler left early with a leg injury while Miranda Guerrero exited late with a leg injury of her own.
"Unfortunately when you have three center midfielders go out with injuries, you're kind of scrambling," said Brownwood soccer head coach Brent Hardwick. "I thought the people that filled in did a great job and worked their hardest. It's just a lot to ask to play a spot you're not typically playing. We play four center midfielders and three of the four were out with injury."
Wylie scored just 9:15 into the contest, then added its second goal with 9:52 left in the first half.
Brownwood answered with its only goal just 4:05 after halftime as Aleyia Cotton scored with an assist from Carly Person.
Wylie later tacked on an insurance goal with 13:44 to go.
"We battled and got one back and were able to put pressure on them here and there but let a late one go in," Hardwick said. "It is what it is, but I thought it was a well fought game."
Channing Barron tallied 10 saves in goal for the Lady Lions.
In the Lions' 2-0 loss, Wylie scored with 8:58 left in the first half and with 1:26 remaining in the contest.
"Wylie's a really good team with a lot of athletes and they're the No. 1 team in district for a reason," Hardwick said. "We came out and put on a pretty good performance. We haven't won a district game so the only place to go is up. We just have to keep working and kept trying."
The Lions have not recorded a goal since a 3-1 loss to Wylie in the district opener.
"We don't need to be in so much of a hurry," Hardwick said of the offensive struggles. "We find ourselves in too much of a hurry to get the ball down the field and we just need to calm down. We'll get it down there when we get it down there."
In goal, Braden Bushnell tallied 11 saves with one goal allowed while Caleb Woodcock finished with six saves and one goal yielded.
Both the Lions (4-13-1, 0-7) and Lady Lions (11-6, 2-5) are playoff-bound, being members of a four-team district, and have games remaining against Mineral Wells (March 20)and Stephenville (March 23) before the start of postseason action. All district teams have byes next week due to spring break.
"Mathematically we're pretty much set where we're going to be going into the playoffs," Hardwick said. "We're not going to change a whole lot, but we're going to get after it. We're going to use spring break to heal and get a little better when we have a chance. But those next two games I want to see a lot of youth stepping up and getting some valuable minutes. We're not going to change a whole lot, we're going to play to win both games, but we don't want to be limping into the playoffs."