MIDLOTHIAN — Once the momentum gets away from a team, things can snowball quickly, and that’s the situation Midway found itself in Friday night.
Lewisville Hebron scored less than five minutes into the game, put in three more before halftime and found the net three times in a seven-minute span in the second half to end the Pantherettes’ season, 7-0, in an area-round game at the Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium.
“They had more of everything,” Midway coach Bill Sharp said. “They were quicker; better first touch. They were just the better team tonight.”
Hebron kept the ball on Midway’s end of the field nearly the entire night, and when the Pantherettes did muster any kind of offensive pressure, it was quickly thwarted.
By the time Midway (15-4-2) got the ball into the Hebron 18-yard box with a real chance to score, it was 30 minutes into the game and was trailing by three goals.
“That can be frustrating to watch from over here, knowing you can’t run out there and correct it,” Sharp said. “Again, that’s a good team. You have to give them their accolades. They made us work and made us do some things we’re not used to doing. When a team can do that to you, it can make it difficult.”
Stefanie Doyle and Alanna Casteneda both scored twice in the first half to hand the Hawks a 4-0 lead at intermission.
The Hawks rattled the Pantherettes with a goal in the fifth minute and kept the pressure on the rest of the first half.
Doyle got the opening goal when she took a cross from Reid Sibley, who had gotten behind the Midway defense on a free kick from about 40 yards out.
Casteneda made it a 2-0 game in the 19th minute when she leapt to take a header off a long, crossing free kick from Laura Scholz and sent it just inside the back post for her first goal of the night.
She got another one eight minutes later, when she gathered the ball in about 10 yards from the goal, spun and sent a skimming shot that appeared to deflect off a Midway defender and into the net for a 3-0 lead.
The Hawks weren’t done yet, though, as Doyle made her way to the front of the net and accepted a cross from Caroline Paulette for an easy goal from just more than 6 yards out. Paulette beat Midway’s defenders in a footrace on a long ball to set up the goal with 4:33 to go before halftime.
“We were trying to do some of the same things we’ve done all year (to slow them down),” Sharp said. “Be patient, keep our shape and work together as a unit. They’ve got so many individual players that can do things with the ball at a speed of play that we can’t simulate in practice. It makes a difference.”
Midway goalkeeper Hanna Fischer did all she could to keep the ball out of the net, but it was difficult with the way Hebron was able to attack. The Hawks did nearly all of their damage working the right side of the field and sending crosses into the box.
Fischer made several diving saves and also swatted away several shots with leaping efforts.
The Hawks got a goal from Chelsee Washington with 16:17 to go in the game, and that set off a three-goal binge. Gabby Duca found the net less than a minute later, and Paulette let a shot go from about 25 yards that completed the scoring with 9:23 to go.
Despite the way the season finished, Sharp was proud of his team’s accomplishments.
“It was a great year,” Sharp said. “They went through a lot of adversity, especially early on. We lost three players to injuries, two of them were three-year starters, juniors on the outsides. One was a defensive back, and we had some young players step up and fill the roles. We missed those players, but again, it was a good season. We’re going to miss our four seniors. They were big contributors for us, but we’ve got a lot coming back.”
Boys’ playoff games
University 2, Nacogdoches 0: In Huntsville, the Trojans knocked Nacogdoches out of the playoffs for the second straight year.
“It was a very physical game, a very fast-paced game,” coach Mike Chapman said.
Adam Gutierrez had two goals, while keeper Oscar Herrera stymied high-scoring Nacogdoches (19-1).
“We beat them last year, 2-1, and had almost everyone back,” Chapman said.
University (26-2) will face the winner of Tomball and Tomball Memorial.
Flower Mound Marcus 4, Midway 1: Logan Hickey cut Marcus’ lead late in the first half, but Marcus ended the Panthers’ season.
“It was a great year. We couldn’t have asked for a better year,” first-year coach Patrick Posey said.
Marcus scored two early goals before Hickey cut the lead to 2-1. Marcus added its third within 10 minutes after halftime and added its last when Midway attempted to press a goal.
Midway finishes at 17-2-5.