“I was a little concerned with our attitude and mind-set with it being Senior Night and Parent Night, but we came out with a great attitude. Unfortunately, we made one crucial mistake, and they capitalized on it, and it was basically their only true opportunity the entire match,” said Lady Trojan head coach Don Ledesma.
The 1-1 tie still did the Lady Trojans no harm, as they will enter the postseason as the third place team in the district. The tie did drop the Indians into second place in district as the Pleasanton Eaglettes emerged as District 57-4A champions this year.
Harlandale scored early in the first half on a passing error by the Lady Trojans. It created a one-on-one match-up with the Indian forward getting a clear shot past Lady Trojan keeper Randi Maupin.
It stayed 1-0 through the first 40 minutes despite the dominating play of the Beeville girls. Shots on goal easily favored the Lady Trojans, but every kick was high, wide or right into the arms of the Harlandale goalkeeper. A few “no-calls” also went Harlandale’s way.
The second half was again dominated by the hosts’ offensive and defensive play. Shots still were hitting the cross bars and still sailing just high or wide. With 24:51 left in the match, Victoria Elizalde posted up front and middle on a Beeville corner kick. Heather McKinney put the corner right into the middle of the congregated players in front of the Indians’ net. Elizalde blasted a kick that the Harlandale keeper could not handle, and the ball crossed the goal line for the Beeville score.
“We hit the post and missed some crucial chances which led to us tying the match. Not to mention a goal called back in the last three minutes of the game,” Ledesma said.
“We had a much, much better attitude and overall team performance in the second half.”
The defensive effort was superb. Taylor Castillo, Sydney Wesson, Claire McKinney and Celeste Contreras kept the Indians from putting any further pressure on keeper Maupin after the first half goal by Harlandale. Midfielder Tori Muñoz kept hustling on both offense and defense along with Niki Longoria, Anisa Cantu and Harvey.
“Tori Muñoz played her heart out in the midfield the final 20 minutes, and that allowed us to tie the game and gave us an opportunity to win. The entire team gets recognition for the tie, but a few standouts were Victoria, Mackenzie, Taylor and Heather,” Ledesma said.
“We are definitely the best team in our district, but you have to win rather than tie and finish your chances that you get.”
The Lady Trojans lost fewer matches than anyone in district except Harlandale, but the numerous ties cost them a chance at the district title this year. The Beeville girls finished district at 4-1-5 and in third place. Pleasanton finished 7-2-1 while the Indians fell to second with a record of 6-1-3, just a point behind the Eaglettes (three points for a win and one point for a tie).
The playoffs begin next week, but an opponent and locale have yet to be determined.