Texas High’s Hannah Brantley Records Four Points In Playoff Win Against John Tyler
TYLER -- Hannah Brantley doesn't have much left to prove at Texas High as the top goal scorer in school history and as a standout golfer.
But she keeps delivering.
Brantley recorded three assists and a goal in the Lady Tigers' 4-0 Class 5A bi-district soccer playoff round win against John Tyler at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
"We lost a heartbreaker in the first round last year," Brantley said. "So it feels great, especially in my senior year, to get the win. We're on to the next game and have more challenges. It's exciting."
The senior midfielder's three assists all went to freshman Reagan Sandford as part of the freshman forward's three-goal night.
Brantley and Sandford connected a fourth time for a score, but that goal was waved off on an offsides call.
With 24:19 to play, Brantley added another goal to her school record. She kicked home a John Tyler clearance attempt for the final score.
"We know Reagan, Rachael (Shewmaker) and Hannah get a lot of the press, but there's so much that goes on behind that," Lady Tigers head coach Dustin Holly said. "They work hard to finish the chances, but as we've gone on our possessions have gotten so much better with our whole team. I would say this is probably the best in my six years that we've ever possessed the ball.
"It's been fun to watch us grow. Even the older kids are learning new things everyday. It's been a lot of fun with this group this year."
The Lady Tigers have experienced a strong season despite new challenges faced en route to a second-place finish in District 15-5A. As part of a four-team league last season, they automatically qualified for the playoffs along with the rest of their district.
Texas High chalks part of its 1-0, bi-district loss to Pine Tree last year to the lack of competition it was able to face down the stretch.
"I think we were maybe a little bit ahead of ourselves thinking that we could win," Brantley said. "We came out flat in that game and just never could get anything going. This year, it was a whole different ball game."
John Tyler, the third-place finisher in District 16-5A, provided some early resistance.
Brantley helped knock the Lady Lions out of sorts in the game's 10th minute with a cross in the penalty area to Sandford, who slid and redirected the ball to the opposite side of the net. Shewmaker also earned an assist on the play with a leading pass to Brantley.
Texas High struck again when Brantley served up a nice throw-in to Sandford from the left side of the attacking zone. The forward did the rest of the work for a 2-0 lead.
Brantley connected with Sandford the third time less than three minutes into the second half.
"Reagan and I, we've been having a great year together," Brantley said. "I just try to draw some pressure toward me so I can slide it off to her. She's great at finishing the ball."
On the defensive side of the equation, starting goalkeeper Leah Crenshaw made three saves on John Tyler's eight shot attempts.
Holly pulled all of the Lady Tigers' starters with about 14 minutes remaining in the game.
Texas High has a steep challenge in its area round game. It will face Mansfield Lake Ridge, winners against Seagoville by a score of 11-0.
The game will be played 7 p.m. next Friday at Rose Stadium.
"We have some video on them and I have some buddies in the Metroplex that have been tracking them for a while," Holly said. "We hope we'll have a good game plan. We know they come from a good district, too. I think we're prepared and our kids are excited for it. Second round, everyone is good."