HS Girls Soccer Playoffs: Grand Oaks Battles Cy-Woods Until Final Seconds
THE WOODLANDS, TX –- The Grand Oaks Lady Grizzlies hosted the Cy-Woods Lady Wildcats in the Area Round of the UIL Girls Soccer State Championship. The matchup at Woodforest Stadium would be the first time Grand Oaks would see a strong and aggressive team outside their district.
The momentum of the first half was at eleven with Cy-Woods showing aggression and determination to move on, while Grand Oaks played safe and defensively. Within a couple of minutes, Cy-Woods pushed and shoved their way to the goal and kicked one to the back of the net. Although the Wildcats had an early lead, the aggression didn’t stop. They pushed and shoved to get position on the ball as Grand Oaks tried to attack the goal on the other end of the field.
With the shoving and tripping getting more intense, Grand Oaks stepped up and started to show more aggression to match the Cy-Woods energy. At the 21-minute mark, and a couple of corner kicks, Grand Oaks placed one in the right spot. Midfielder Jorja Bragg used her head to get passed the keeper and tie the game 1-1.
The second half was more of the same in the first but with more pushing, shoving and tripping. The refs seemed to turn a blind eye to this as they let the game continue as players fell to the turf. In the closing seconds, each team made plays at the net but none could pass the line.
In games before, penalty kicks would be next but for this playoff game, each team decided to go into extra time. With 10 more minutes on the board, each team made advances at the goal but with no success. Again, penalty kicks would be the next step but the refs went to the old rule book and put another 10 minutes on the clock so the teams could fight it out one more time.
As the closing minutes started to tick away, Cy-Woods turned up the momentum and attacked the goal for one last time. As the ball left the fielders foot, it slammed off the left bar and into the keeper’s hands. Unfortunately, the momentum brought the keeper passed the line. Cy-Woods would get the final goal in extra time and fight off Grand Oaks for the remainder of the match.
As the Grand Oaks girls sat in a circle talking about their season, Head Coach Simpson looked on. When asked if she was proud of their progress and the girls in her program she said, “Proud doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
High School is tough especially when girls are in the same program for their entire four years. Coach Simpson paused as emotion overwhelmed her when asked what she would say to the seniors on her team. “I love them, and they helped build the program the way it was. And I couldn’t have asked for a better performance.”