Pine Tree Girls Soccer Takes Down John Tyler in Playoffs
TYLER -- Pine Tree had been pushed before by John Tyler. Last year's playoff game went to double overtime before the Lady Pirates could advance.
It was a much different story Monday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium as Pine Tree sophomore forward Erin Bailey came off the bench to record a hat trick en route to a 4-0 win against the Lady Lions in the 4A bi-district round.
"Erin has kind of done that all year," Lady Pirates' head coach Daniel Rich said. "She's a girl that is probably a potential starter, has come off the bench and scored some big goals for us. Tonight was just like she's kind of done all year. And she's maybe working for a starting spot."
Pine Tree dominated possession of the ball but couldn't find the finishing touch through the first 15 minutes of the match.
Bailey got thrown into the game and recorded her first goal with 20:34 to play in the half on an assist from Lilly Cabrera.
Seven minutes later, Bailey had her second goal of the playoff game.
"At first we were kind of nervous," Bailey said. "But then we got the nerves down and just started passing really well. After we got the first goal, we had it in our minds that we were going to win this game."
John Tyler wasn't sure how to respond. Pine Tree's back line had been the crutch the Lady Pirates needed before its offensive game got clicking. The line ultimately gave up just one late scoring chance.
Pine Tree had seven shots on goal through the first half and 11 shots on Lady Lions' goalkeeper Rebecca Renteria by the time all was said and done. John Tyler had two shots on goal in the match.
"(The defenders) have been our strength all year," Rich said. "I definitely feel like our back line has proven that they can play against a lot of the better teams. Then my senior stopper, Ana Solis, keeps them together and keeps the ball out of the net."
Solis recorded three saves.
Renteria made an impressive five saves against Pine Tree's onslaught through the latter part of the first half before the Lady Pirates began burning clock with a 3-0 lead at the break. She finished with seven saves.
Cabrera scored the final goal of the half on a Renteria save off the crossbar. That's the best you can ask of your keeper without defenders to back up the initial save.
Bailey recorded her third goal with 8:19 left in the second half to thwart any hopes of a furious John Tyler comeback bid.
"I like to see how they play and what their formation is and then I get it and study it," Bailey said. "Then I just play when I get on the field."
Pine Tree wrapped up District 32-4A undefeated and had a 17-2-1 record overall. It's now is six games from a state championship.
But the road gets tougher, starting with a meeting against Texas High at 8 p.m. Thursday in Mt. Pleasant.
"I've told this team that if we can start scoring, like we did tonight, we can really make some noise in the next two rounds and hopefully get to that fourth round against a Dallas team. Our plans are to get back to the regional tournament. We've had trouble scoring, but tonight was a great step in the direction of getting us back to the regional tournament by scoring goals."