Pine Tree Girls, Lufkin Boys Eliminated on Thursday
TYLER -- It didn't take long for Highland Park to leave its mark.
Presley Echols scored five minutes into the game for Highland Park in a bi-district playoff game with Pine Tree on Thursday. She took the ball from Sarah O'Neal and glided it past Lady Pirate goalkeeper Sarah Moore.
That set the tone for the rest of the game, as Highland Park went on to earn a dominant 6-0 victory.
Pine Tree coach Chris Yoder remained positive about the loss, though.
"I saw a team that didn't quit," he said. "That is one thing I can always count on with my girls. I don't care who we're playing if it's the best team or the worst team. I had girls literally on the bench at two minutes telling girls to get off their rear ends and work harder. It doesn't matter if you're not gonna come back in the last two minutes and score six goals. It matters because you're a competitor."
Pine Tree could do little to stop the Lady Scots' attack.
Although the Lady Pirates entered the game with a defense-first strategy, Highland Park's offense easily foiled it. By halftime, the score was 3-0.
To begin the second half, O'Neal nailed perhaps the most impressive goal of the game. With the ball in the air, she twisted around in a 180, cleat connecting perfectly with ball to guide it through once more.
Pine Tree was unable to find the same success. The closest shot the Lady Pirates had came with 32 minutes remaining in the second half. Ariana Alba got a shot at the goal, but the ball sailed wide left.
"Normally, you're gonna think, 'All right, this team hasn't lost on two years, we just got scored on in five minutes, let's give up.' They stayed in there and stayed with it. We don't normally play like that. We needed to fine tune some things. Person-to-person we needed more support."
Lufkin boys fall to Mesquite
TYLER -- Lufkin had its chances.
Despite a tie and halftime, the Panthers couldn't stop Mesquite from scoring in the second. They fell, 3-0 at the hands of the Skeeters on Friday.
Mesquite would come close three times in the second before it finally connected. The first ball was lost in a herd of players and eventually kicked away. The second flew over the goal. The third, just to the right.
However, the Skeeters got a chance after a penalty on Lufkin gave Tylon Sanders a free kick. Sanders sent the ball past the goalkeeper and then went prancing downfield followed closely by his teammates.
That goal opened to door for Mesquite. The Skeeters also scored on a goal from near midfield and Christian Perez scored shortly after being subbed in with just more than two minutes remaining.
Lufkin finished its season 7-12-3.