Whitehouse LadyCats Score 1-0 Bi-District Playoff Win Over Kilgore
WHITEHOUSE -- Whitehouse girls soccer coach Brad Jones rolled the dice, opting to play against a stiff, north wind in the first half of his team's Class 4A Region II bi-district playoff match with Kilgore.
It paid off.
Senior midfielder Brittany Matthews scored late in the first half, and the LadyCats held on for a 1-0 victory Monday night at Wildcat Stadium.
With the win, Whitehouse (11-8-1), the runner-up from District 31-4A, advanced to the area-round of the playoffs to face Liberty-Eylau, the fourth-place squad from 29-4A. Jones said the match will take place Thursday at a site and time to be determined.
"It's always good to get your first win (of the playoffs)," Jones said. "I feel like we definitely can play better. It was a good win for us and I'm glad we won, but we definitely need to step up and play better in the future for sure. I have a lot of freshmen out there playing and obviously they were a little nervous."
The steady wind played havoc all game long, preventing either team from stringing together many scoring opportunities, especially in the first half.
"It definitely played a factor," Jones said. "My strategy going into it was to play against the wind in the first half and in the second half just trying to use it to our advantage when we were a little more tired. You could definitely tell a difference for sure. It was a game of two halves pretty much. I was glad we played really well in the first half, we kinda had to withstand the storm of playing against the wind."
With less than eight minutes until halftime, Matthews found daylight and snuck it past Kilgore goalie Jalyissa Hernandez for the game's only goal.
"She's kinda done that all year," Jones said of Matthews. "It's her senior year and she's come through we needed to score some big goals. As a senior, you kinda expect them to step up and do things like that. It was great to see Brittany step up and score that for us."
The goal provided Jones some comfort, knowing his team would be playing with the wind at their back in the second half.
"I think definitely psychologically it was an advantage for sure," he said.
Whitehouse's goalkeeping duo of Payton Hightower and Kamryn York combined on the shutout.