The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX


March 26, 2014

LADY HORNETS SOCCER — Huntsville falls 3-0 to Tomball Memorial in bi-district playoff game

HUNTSVILLE — Huntsville ran into a buzz saw in its bi-district playoff game against Tomball Memorial on Tuesday.

As hard as they played, particularly in the second half, the Lady Hornets could not hold off the Lady Wildcats and fell 3-0 to end the season.

Huntsville didn’t get very many shots in since Tomball Memorial dominated one side of the field offensively.

But a strong defensive performance led by goalkeeper Ly’Shanette Major at least gave the Lady Hornets something to be proud of.

Tomball Memorial had to earn everything it got.

“That team was probably the best team we’ve played all year,” Huntsville head coach Andrew Stewart said. “In the first half, I knew we were in trouble if we didn’t start playing with more heart and so we talked about it. If they beat us because they earned it, that’s fine. But let’s not allow them to have more heart than us. So they came out and showed a lot of heart in the second half.”

The Lady Wildcats took a 2-0 lead into halftime off a pair of goals by Alex Gill. By the 19th minute, Major had already block four shots on goal when Gill found some open space in the middle of the field and shot right into the net.

Nine minutes later, Gill shot a long ball that went high and bounced into the net to give Tomball Memorial a commanding 2-0 lead.

“I went out there thinking that I just can’t let them score,” Major said. “The whole time I was just thinking about the seniors and the alumni that made it possible for me to play here and for this team to be here. Even though they did score, I went out there and did my best. As a team, we did our best. Since my team did so well, they made me look good.

“The most difficult part about this team is that they have players who have been playing club soccer all of their lives. We had to watch out on their long balls and their crosses.”

Tomball Memorial scored its third goal in the 77th minute of the game, when Major came up with two blocks but couldn’t get to the third shot put in by Tori McCarter.

Huntsville also battled injuries going into the playoff bout, with at least three key players hurt. The short-handed Lady Hornets pulled from their junior varsity squad late in the second half to try and swing the momentum.

Senior Elisa Williams was one of the inspirational voices for Huntsville, both at halftime and after the game. The end of her soccer career at Huntsville really came into focus at the beginning of the season, when she realized no matter it ended, it would indeed end.

Williams wanted to remind the teammates she’s leaving behind how important it is to battle and give maximum effort.

The toughest part about facing Tomball Memorial was the mix between speed and skill, which Williams said wore out the Lady Hornets early.

“We just had to come together and play with our hearts because that was the only way we had a shot,” she said. “We’ve just improved so much and we were so much better in the second half.”

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All proceeds from the Team Big George Wiffleball Tournament will go to George Ancira, above, to support him in his battle with cancer.

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