The Brownwood Lady Lions are heading into the playoffs with a huge boost, notching their first District 6-4A victory in the regular season finale – a home triumph over league champion Stephenville.
When the dust had settled, the Lady Lions had scored five goals to Stephenville’s four in a game that was tied at 1 at the end of regulation, then both teams converted three of five shots in a penalty kick shootout.
Forced into a sudden death shootout, Brownwood goalkeeper Channing Barron recorded a save on Stephenville’s initial attempt, then Dusty VanHuss came through with the game-winning goal on the Lady Lions’ sixth kick following the conclusion of the second half.
“This is really big because we struggled in district to get a win and we lost quite a few games in a PK shootout,” said Lady Lions head coach Andrew Stevenson, referring to three shootout losses to Mineral Wells in district action. “To come out against Stephenville, which is an excellent team, and tie it and then win it in a shootout, that’s great for us. We really needed this because the playoffs are coming around and we’re moving forward with momentum coming at the right time.”
Stephenville took a 1-0 lead with 1:12 left in the first half and maintained the advantage until the 22:20 mark of the second half, where Taylar Kinzler found the net following a corner kick from Carly Person.
“I told them at halftime it was only one goal and we were still in the game,” Stevenson said. “We still had an opportunity and when we tied it in the middle of the second half, I feel like that said to them that they could win this game.”
In the shootout, Barron turned away Stephenville shots on the first and last attempts. Meanwhile, the Lady Lions scored on their first three tries – by Person, Barron and Kinzler – before missing the last two.
“Channing had a fantastic game,” Stevenson said. “She had 13 saves in the field and three in the PK shootout. To get one save in a shootout is remarkable so for her to get three, she stepped up really big tonight.”
The Lady Lions (8-9, 1-5), the third seed out of District 6-4A, will begin their postseason run against Burkburnett at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Graham.