Deep playoff runs often come down to just catching the right path and the right matchups.
Beeville’s girls soccer team didn’t catch a very favorable matchup for its bi-district contest, and an unfortunate error made things even more difficult.
The Lady Trojans were bounced in the first round of the 4A state playoffs March 26, losing in a penalty-kick shootout to visiting Pleasanton at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“That’s too much man,” said Lady Trojan coach Scott Taylor afterward. “I’ll tell you what, we dominated that game, we just dominated it, especially the second half.”
That domination wasn’t enough, though, because Beeville wasn’t able to finish at the net.
“We had great possession, great connected passes, great support, had some great runs and great shots on goal, but we just couldn’t get it in,” Taylor said, crediting Pleasanton for its defensive scheme that rendered Jacey Taylor, Beeville’s all-time leading goal scorer, moot.
“They scouted us against Rockport, they knew if they took Jacey out of play, it’s hard for us to finish. She was double-teamed all night.”
With their top offensive threat shut down, the Lady Trojans went without a goal for the first time this season.
“We had some opportunities. It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t finish,” S. Taylor said.
The aforementioned unfortunate error came in the penalty-kick shootout, which followed 80 minutes of a scoreless play in regulation and then two overtime periods that also didn’t feature any goals.
After J. Taylor was stopped on Beeville’s first PK, Lady Trojan goalie Jayden Ford appeared to make a stop on Pleasanton’s first attempt.
However, the referee had failed to signal the ball ready for play, giving Pleasanton another attempt.
This time, Pleasanton converted, taking a 1-0 lead in the shootout.
“Jayden is young and I know, for her, that was a world of good for her to have that stop and everyone else’s emotions are good,” S. Taylor said. “Then for it to be called back, and then they score, it kind of deflates the balloon a little bit.”
In the second round of the shootout, Lynnleigh Stroman converted for Beeville, but Pleasanton answered with another make.
In the third round, Caleigh Martin was wide left and hit the post for Beeville, allowing Pleasanton to take a 3-1 lead in the shootout with a make on its next attempt.
In the fourth round, Jennifer Carrizales’ attempted was stopped by the Pleasanton keeper, giving the Lady Eagles the victory.
“It is tough, especially when we feel like we dominated it so much,” S. Taylor said. “For it to come down to (penalty kicks), it’s a hard way to go out.
“It’s disappointing, but I’m proud of the girls. We competed the entire season and did well. We did some really good things and accomplished a lot this year. It’s just a little disheartening that we end the run already.”
The loss also marked the end of S. Taylor’s eight-year run at the helm of the program.
The 52-year-old is retiring from Beeville ISD at the end of the school year after a 29-year career in education.
“We’ve done a lot,” he said about the accomplishments of the program during his tenure. “We’ve been to the playoffs all but one year in the past eight years, and had some really good battles and gone deep in the playoffs a couple of times.”
He said he hopes that he is leaving the program with a good foundation on which to build.
“My hope for my mark on this is that, whoever takes over, the girls have a solid foundation of possession style of soccer and just have a quality game.”
The Taylor legacy doesn’t just cover Scott, though. It also extends to his daughters, Keely and Jacey.
Keely starred on her dad’s first four Lady Trojan squads, scoring 114 goals and racking up 40 assists.
Jacey has been the centerpiece of her dad’s last four squads, usurping her older sister as the program’s all-time leading scorer by putting away 178 goals while also doling out 84 assists.
“It’s been good. I’ve enjoyed it,” Scott said about his time atop the program.