Young Lady War Eagles fall in Bi-District playoffs
SHENANDOAH, Texas - The Oak Ridge Lady War Eagle Varsity soccer team lost to the Klein Oak Panthers 4-0 on Thursday night at Woodforest Bank Stadium in the bi-district round of playoffs.
The Lady War Eagles finished in third place in district season with a record of 5-3-4, securing them a spot in the post-district play. Their first game against Klein Oak, who finished second in district 15-6A, did not produce a favorable outcome, however, Lady War Eagles head coach Jim Collins was not going to let one game outshine the positives of the season.
“It was a big positive to make the playoffs this year, because we are starting nine freshmen and sophomores and we had nobody playing in the same position they were playing last year, as we graduated a lot of seniors last year. Nobody really even thought we would be in the playoffs,” Collins said. “To be here was a big positive. I wish we would have played a little better, we were missing our best defender, so it really leaves a hole for us, but no excuses. Klein Oak played a great game, and in the first half we made some defensive mistakes, and we knew going against the wind we could not make those mistakes like we did. I am proud of the kids, I wished we would have played better today, but that is soccer.”
The Lady War Eagles and the Lady Panthers did face adversary winds throughout the game, making control of the ball more difficult than usual and directing kick in unintended places. However, both teams fought until the end. The Lady War Eagles had many opportunities at the face of the Panther goal, but did not necessarily fully capitalize on them. The Panthers were also presented with many other opportunities in the Oak Ridge defensive third, but the Lady War Eagle defense maintained a strong defensive line despite the score. Both attackers and defenders played their usual game, and did not allow for the team’s underdog status or outside influences to change their style of play.
The first half ended with the Lady War Eagles trailing the Lady Panthers, 3-0. Klein Oak scored only one more additional goal in the second half, despite a missed penalty kick at the face of the goal. The defense did their best to protect the goal, despite an alteration in the usual line up.
There was a large crowd supporting the team in their playoff run, including Oak Ridge boys head coach Gareth Glick and his team. The War Eagles all stood behind the girls in their efforts and displayed pride in them. Oak Ridge maintained composure throughout the game, despite various fouls by Klein Oak. In district play, set pieces were the team’s strongpoint, however tonight the wind increased difficulty in the execution in such plays.
The Lady War Eagles had six seniors on the 2015 roster, leaving them with 18 returning varsity players next year. There is much hope resting in the development of this young team, as they proved a noteworthy opponent this year and hope to continue to develop the current talent for next. Coach Collins is extremely proud of this young team, and is excited to see what the future holds for them.