By David Tuma, Publisher
It happens in soccer. Belton hit the top post three times and nothing went in. Rowlett got two of their four shots on goal to go in. One was a misplayed ball in the Lady Tigers goal. Both teams played well. Good ball movement with Rowlett controlling the midfield.
Belton was young with only one senior. In girl’s soccer, that isn’t a big a deal as it is rated. What this team needs is tournaments played. Only five players saw extensive action together last season. Key word is playing together and that takes tournaments. In Belton’s district, they do not get what they need in terms of experience.
Fifteen of the sixteen players on this year’s team will be back next year.
With the wind, sophomore Tiarra Hodges set up a corner kick off a steal by freshman Izzy Rhoads. Freshman Rachel Ramm had a clear. Belton bobbled the ball in the goal after stopping a crossing pass and gave up an easy goal at 30:11. Too many crossing passes were given up in the first half by the Lady Tigers. It was corrected in the second half, but too late to make a difference.
Defender Alexis Mack drove the length of the field to set up a corner kick. Freshman Harlie Wiley had a stop at 27:44. Rowlett converted a clean combination goal to make it 2-0 at 25:50.
Belton had played a friendly against Hendrickson last Tuesday. On two days rest, it showed early in the match. The Lady Tigers were running on dead legs.
Sophomore Allison Navarro’s shot was blocked by the goalie. Hodges with a bicycle kick hit the top bar from 15-yards out. The shot drew a reaction from the crowd. Navarro hits the post at 10:03 with Rowlett’s luck holding.
Mack set up Hodges, who rifled a shot that was beautifully blocked by the Rowlett goalie. It was simply a fantastic save. Navarro was given an open look from 25 yards out. She crushed a shot and the goalie again made one of the best saves of the year.
At this point it could have easily been 3-1 Lady Tigers.
Rowlett put the game away with a clean combination goal at 27:05. A weird jump ball was called after Stinson was taken down from behind. Stinson was heading toward the goal one-on-one with the goalie. It began a bizarre set of calls both ways.
Belton hit the top bar for the third time in the game with no goal. Mattie Krenek was decked as things got out of control. Mack drove the length of the field and got a shoulder in the back five times before a foul is called at 8:17.
Rowlett got the win. They controlled the middle of the field. Belton’s defense played well and didn’t give up a lot of shots. Belton’s up front just didn’t get the breaks. Heading into next season, if they can find an equal of Hodges up front this team could be state qualifying level.
It will be interested how many of the highly rated freshman make the starting lineup next season. Belton’s incoming ninth grade class is loaded. The incoming group is similarly to this current group of six freshmen who made this year’s team.
The backbone of this team was the eleven sophomores and freshmen. Mack will be sorely missed from a talent standpoint and leadership. Mack, without question, is an outstanding athlete.