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Against the Wind: Whitehouse Girls Ousted By Waxahachie 1-0 in Windy Regional Quarterfinal

Whitehouse’s Haylie Dyess brings the ball downfield during the LadyCats’ 4-0 playoff win over Hallsville on March 24 in Tyler. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

FORNEY — Mother Nature didn’t do the Whitehouse LadyCats any favors as a blustery, steady wind of more than 20 mph throughout prevented them from finding any continuity.

It all added up to a 1-0 loss to Waxahachie in a Class 4A Region II quarterfinal Tuesday night at City Bank Stadium, denying the LadyCats’ a trip to this weekend’s regional tournament in Carrollton.

Waxahachie, a perennial regional qualifier, was formidable enough for Whitehouse (20-5). But the wind was brutal, especially in the first half, as Whitehouse struggled to advance the ball into the wind and into Waxahachie territory for the first 40 minutes.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever played in a game with wind like this,” Whitehouse coach Brad Jones said. “It made a huge difference, obviously. We just couldn’t get it out of our end of the field.”

The only goal occurred in the first two minutes of the match. The Whitehouse keeper had the ball escape her clutches, allowing Waxahachie’s Mackenzie Posey to score on an open net.

“I would like to think (the wind is) what gave them their goal because my keeper, she thought she had it in her hands and it slipped through her hands,” Jones said. “I guess the wind might have caught it or something, and it was just an easy open net at that point. It’s kinda depressing to have a loss like that.”

Despite only tallying one goal, Waxahachie was the aggressor all night, outshooting Whitehouse 11-3 for the match. The Lady Indians had six shots on goal in the opening half while playing with the wind.

“We held on in the first half and endured the wind,” Jones said. “It was 1-0 and I thought we had a pretty good chance; in the second half, we’re going to have the wind. Clearly, Waxahachie’s a very good team. Even against the wind, they still put passes together and got shots off and we struggled to get shots off.”

Changing sides of the field in the second half didn’t do much to help Whitehouse, which managed just a couple shots on goal in the final 40 minutes.

Lauren Morris had a breakaway, but the wind carried the ball out of her reach and out of bounds, preventing what could’ve been a game-tying goal with 27 minutes remaining in the contest. Whitehouse had more chance to get even with 6:30 to play, but Rachel Fulgham’s header off a Becca Garcia corner kick sailed over the net.

“We had opportunities we did not take advantage of; that’s probably the best way I could sum up the second half,” Jones said. “We had chances I feel like in the second half where we should’ve taken shots, and that’s what’s frustrating about it. I don’t know what was going on, but fundamentally we didn’t play like we should have.”

Whitehouse will lose six seniors to graduation, but returns a solid corps of underclassmen, including several freshmen that played key roles throughout the course of the season.

“I would hope it’s a positive thing; I would hope that the experience is a positive for them,” Jones said. “I have a good freshman class, so I’m hoping they got to see that this is what it’s like and this is what it’s about.”

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