Fast start gets Lady Highlanders to 5-0
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The Woodlands Lady Highlander varsity soccer team continued their winning streak on Friday night, defeating the Summer Creek Lady Bulldogs 4-0 and further proving excellence in execution of their own personal style of play.
The Lady Highlanders (5-0) began the game with a goal from senior Stephanie Evans in the 4th-minute. Evans took control of a pass from Lady Highlander Kelly Barbalias, and crossed the ball from the right side of the final third into the back of the net. Just a minute later, The Woodlands was back in their attacking third, but was called for offsides before a shot could be taken. However, the Lady Highlanders did not let this stop them, and came back 6th-minute with a shot from Mollie Bond from the right side of the final third that was stopped by the Bulldogs’ keeper.
The Woodlands has scored a total of 17 goals so far this district season. Lady Highlanders head coach Dina Graves attributes this success to of the field commitments made by the girls.
Graves believes that “their commitment to doing what we need to do, and their commitment to each other” is what sets this team apart from Woodlands teams of the past. “Their chemistry, I think, is probably overall better.”
The second goal for the Lady Highlanders was a result of two Summer Creek fouls, beginning in the 23rd-minute of the first half in the middle of the field. Junior Sommer Stanley took the first free kick, in which Summer Creek retaliated with yet another foul just 30 seconds later. Stanley proceeded to take the second kick as well, this time from the sideline of the right side of the field. Stanley sent a high ball over the heads of the attackers and defenders, which was bobbled by the Bobcats’ keeper and landed in the back of the net. Teammate Maddie Dubois of The Woodlands continued the first-half scoring streak, and in the 37th-minute scored a goal from the right side of the final third in which her shot beat both a Summer Creek defender and the goalkeeper in a single touch, giving The Woodlands a 3-0 lead going into half time.
The Woodlands used half time of this particular game to honor those senior apart of the Lady Highlander program, the majority of which played all four years under Graves. Seniors Rawan Ashrawi, Sarbina Marx, Monica Dallacasa, Kelly Barbalias, and Stephanie Evans will all continue their soccer careers in college.
There are a total of 14 graduating seniors who will be leaving the Lady Highlander program after this year. Graves stated that what she will miss most about this class is “their sense of humor, and their commitment to each other and the program.”
The last goal of the game came just two minutes into the second half, with Lady Highlander Grace Piper initiating the attack. Piper was involved in an one-on-one attack with the Summer Creek keeper, who managed to get behind the shot and redirect the ball via a reflection off her body. Kelly Barbalias anticipated an opportunity for a continued attack, and took control of the ball on the left side of the final third, and crossed it into the back of the net, bringing the score to 4-0.
The Lady Highlanders continued their efforts throughout the rest of the second half, with both the defense and offense making sure to pull through in their duties. The team obviously united together with the goal of winning their game tonight, as a true team effort was displayed on the field.
The Lady Highlanders will continue their district run on Tuesday at Kingwood.