MINERAL WELLS— The Brownwood Lions soccer team’s season came to a sudden end after falling to the Bridgeport Bulls 7-1 Thursday night in the opening round of the UIL playoffs.
The Lions jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but Bridgeport scored seven unanswered points for the victory Tuesday.
Freshman center Ben Fitzgerald’s quick thinking gave the Lions their only goal of the night after Bridgeport’s goalie missed a slow roller, then Fitzgerald worked behind him and punched it with a sliding kick before the keeper could recover.
“I saw it go through his legs so I just slid and got it in. I could not believe it went in,” Fitzgerald said.
That was Brownwood’s only goal, and lead, of the night as Bridgeport scored two goals in as many minutes with Juan Amador hitting the first two of his team-leading three goals to give his team a 3-1 lead, and it was all Bridgeport from there.
“We got after them and scored the first one, but we just made them mad too early,” Brownwood head coach Brent Hardwick said. “I was hoping we could save that for halftime and demoralize them a little bit, but there was too much time on the clock. They were district champions for a reason. They are a strong, good team that is going to be very successful in the postseason.”
The Lions end the season with a 4-16-1 record. They will graduate six seniors in May, but Hardwick feels next year’s team will be much stronger considering Brownwood fielded a junior varsity team this season.
“It’s going to be better than in the past,” Hardwick said. “This is the first year in a long while that Brownwood has been able to field a junior varsity team. We were able to call up four players, who got a lot of playing time tonight for the playoffs on the varsity level. That experience was crucial for this kids and we do not have as many holes to patch as it might seem.”