Crandall Smothers Pleasant Grove + Ends Lady Hawks’ Season With 2-0 Shutout
TYLER -- Pleasant Grove entered the regional tournament with just one loss attached to its name, but a smothering defensive effort from Crandall led to the Lady Hawks' elimination.
Crandall limited Pleasant Grove to just one shot attempt and scored in each half for a 2-0 victory in their Class 4A Region II semifinal Friday afternoon at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
The Lady Pirates (18-4-4) advanced to Saturday's regional final at 11 a.m. against Princeton (21-4-2), which survived Mabank in penalty kicks earlier in the day.
Pleasant Grove (19-2-1) only had a handful of decent scoring opportunities throughout. Chelsea Cole's 22-yard free kick was cleared out of the zone midway through the first half. And in the final 12 minutes of the second half, the Lady Hawks produced just three chances.
Rebekah Gilliam's 35-yard shot attempt was saved by Crandall keeper Caitlin Duty with 11:40 remaining, the Lady Pirates avoided what would've been an own goal a few seconds later on another save from Duty, and Pleasant Grove's Kylie Rogers shanked a ball off the side of her foot from close range following a terrific centering pass from Cole with 9:20 to play.
Crandall, which outshot Pleasant Grove 15-1 for the match, grabbed the momentum going into halftime when Meghan Byington's corner kick was headed into the net by Crandall freshman Madison Pottorff with 6:51 remaining until intermission.
The Lady Pirates produced four other premium scoring chances in the first half. Demi Frazier had her shot go off the right post just five minutes into the match, a cross from Pottorff was off the side of the shooter's foot and missed midway through the half, and Frazier and Pottorff were wide on shot attempts in the final 20 minutes before the break.
It didn't take Crandall long, however, to extend its lead to two goals. Frazier got free and blasted a goal past Pleasant Grove goalie Libby Blair from 25 yards for a 2-0 advantage less than seven minutes into the second half.
Pleasant Grove didn't threaten offensively until Gilliam's long-range shot found the waiting arms of Duty in net with 11:40 to play.