Derrick Stuckly — Brownwood Bulletin
Though the scoreboard may have told a different story, the Brownwood Lady Lions’ performance in their first-ever home soccer game may have been their biggest victory to date.
The Lady Lions suffered a 2-1 loss to the Lady Wranglers of Cisco Junior College in a club match Saturday afternoon at Gordon Wood Stadium, but their effort has head coach Brian Davis anxious for the start of District 8-4A action. Brownwood (2-4-1) opens its inaugural district campaign at Lampasas Tuesday night.
“This might be the best we’ve played all year,” Davis said. “The girls ran their sets, they made their combinations and they worked together from top to bottom. Every single one of them played a good game.
“We’re ready for district. I’m glad we played this match today. It was their one last chance to see what they could do together and they’ve proven they are ready. But they have to come like this every day.”
The Lady Lions’ lone goal came at the 20:47 mark of the second half as Brownwood pulled even after trailing 1-0 at intermission.
Following a corner kick by Cisco, the Lady Lions were able to take control of the ball and get it out of the box to begin a fast break. The break ended after Ta’Kenda Cotton dribbled almost half the length of the field before finding bottom left hand corner of the net.
“That all started with transition,” Davis said. “Our midfield stepped up and challenged the ball in the middle, then we were able to turn it and push it quick. When you control the midfield, you control the game.”
The tie lasted for just over three minutes as — in an almost identical scenario to the way Brownwood scored — Jenae Steensma recorded her second goal to put Cisco back in front, 2-1, with 17:41 left.
Goalkeeper Samantha Garcia allowed the two goals, but made well over a dozen saves as the majority of the game was played with Brownwood backed up on its end of the field.
“Sam was awesome and played great in the goal today,” Davis said. “Their two goals were just a couple of small breakdowns that we can fix. We don’t have any big problems anymore. It’s all tiny stuff and that’s fixable.”
The Lady Lions’ best chance at forcing another tie came with 6:11 left, as Brittany Hannah fired a shot from 20 yards out, but it rolled wide left of the goal. Brownwood was unable to get off another shot.
Cisco took a 1-0 lead with 5:38 left in the first half on a Steensma kick that found the top right corner of the net.