The Brownwood Lady Lions opened the home portion of their soccer schedule with their fourth victory in the last five outings, a 7-1 rout of the La Vega Lady Pirates Tuesday night at Gordon Wood Stadium.
Brownwood (5-3-1) reeled off three goals in the first half, then the first three of the second half before La Vega ended the shutout with 7:15 to go. The Lady Lions tacked on another goal before the game ended.
“The girls started strong and in the past when we've had games like this where we've struggled is we don't usually start off the best, but we did tonight,” said Lady Lions head coach Andrew Stevenson. “They moved the ball well, found two goals pretty quickly and that set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Freshman Kennedi Johnson led the attack with four goals — two in each half — while Aleyia Cotton chipped in a pair of goals — one in each half — and Dusty Vanhuss scored as well.
“Kennedi is a freshman playing striker and she's been frustrated that she's not had a lot of opportunities to score,” Stevenson said. “All the time in practice she's asking what she's needs to do, but she got four goals today and that's good for her to get her confidence up and hopefully carry that over against the tougher teams.”
The Lady Lions lit up the board with 17:25 left in the first half when Johnson scored with an assist from Watts Jones. Johnson scored again at the 10:58 off a corner kick by Vanhuss. Cotton then tallied the first of her two goals with 9:36 left in the opening half with the assist from Emily Carnes.
In the second half, Cotton found the net again at the 26:04 mark on an assist from Johnson. At 12:39, Johnson scored once more with another assist from Jones, then Johnson stole the ball from a La Vega player at 10:40 and again found the net. Then, with 3:22 left, VanHuss wrapped up the scoring with an assist from Jones.
Aside from a 25-yard free kick with 7:15 left, the Lady Lion defense smothered La Vega most of the night.
“The defense was great, but that's what happens when you give up a foul in front of the goal,” Stevenson said. “Props to their girl, that was a 25-yard kick she put on target. (Goalkeeper) Tarynne (Delap) was close, she got her hands on it but not enough to deflect it. But other than that, defensively we were pretty sound.”
The Lady Lions are back home at 5 p.m. Friday, but the competition will be considerably tougher as traditional state powerhouse Kennedale visits.
“We just played Salado Saturday and they were a tough team and we lost there,” Stevenson said. “We played great today though and hopefully we can carry this momentum into the Kennedale game. We have to realize we have to play physical, play fast and stick to what we know we can do.”