LINDALE -- Defense was the name of the game for the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs in their playoff opener Tuesday night.

Kilgore allowed just two shots on goal, while the defensive duo of Lanie Bennett and Nichole Flores were responsible for the only score of the night in the Lady Bulldogs' 1-0 shutout of Athens in their Class 4A bi-district playoff at Eagle Stadium.

The win launched Kilgore into the area round of the playoffs where it will face Pleasant Grove at 6 p.m. Friday in Marshall.

"I think our girls played OK; I think we were a little nervous," said Kilgore coach Amanda Farmer. "We didn't play as clean as I wanted to with not taking advantage of our opportunities. Overall I thought we fought and had good effort, but we should've finished a lot more than what we did."

Kilgore outshot Athens for the match 19-2, but did not get on the board until the early stages of the second half when two of its top defenders made it happen on offense. Bennett, lined up a corner kick to Flores, who received the pass and scooted the ball past Athens keeper Dani Carranza with 36:53 remaining.

"My defenders are my MVPs," Farmer said. "My defender kicked in the corner kick and my sweeper came in and scored. I think the key with those two is they grew up playing together, so when I tell them to take corners they always look for each other. (Flores) can read Lanie pretty well, so those two are just a good combo."

Kilgore had several chances before then to crack the scoreboard, including a Daria Rossum shot on a breakaway that was turned away by Carranza -- one of her 14 saves on the night -- with 10:20 to play in the opening half.

"We've been struggling with that all year," Farmer said. "We have a really young offense, so once we figure out how to click it's OK. But getting started (is difficult at times). And I think a lot of it comes with inexperience. My defense is all seniors, so sometimes we clash."