Sometimes the moment doesn’t happen as planned. Shots go astray and passes fall, while everything seems to click for the other team.
That was reality for the Midway Pantherettes soccer team Tuesday night when they lost, 4-0, to the Highland Park Lady Scots in the Region II quarterfinals at Waco ISD Stadium.
Highland Park controlled the game from kickoff, but the Pantherettes were only down, 1-0, to start the second half. Then they got the wind knocked out of them.
The Lady Scots received a corner kick just minutes into the second half. Highland Park co-captain Savanna Jones hooked a corner kick enough to deflect the ball off the inside of the far post.
The ball fell almost straight down and rolled away from the goal because of a backspin.
Everyone on the field paused and looked to the linesman for a call: did it cross the line?
The linesman signaled a goal and Midway never gained their momentum back.
Midway coach Bill Sharp said that was a hard call to accept.
“The second goal, that’s questionable,” he said. “But he was on the end line and he made the call. The girls didn’t think it went in, but it is what it is. It definitely took the wind out of our sails.”
Sharp said there may have been some luck involved in that goal, but thought Highland Park won the game because they’re a great team.
“I think it had a little to do with chance,” Sharp said. “But hey, we’re in the playoffs, your team has to be good to win. But you also have to get some bounces along the way. Unfortunately, we didn’t get very many of those tonight.”
The Pantherettes spent much of the first half on defense and weren’t able to capitalize on the offensive opportunities they did have. Sharp said he made some adjustments at halftime to try and create more offensive opportunities.
“We made a couple adjustments we thought were going to help us get more numbers forward and get a chance to get that equalizer,” Sharp said. “We wanted to get more support from some of our outside midfielders and get forward to add numbers once we won it. It just didn’t pan out.
“It’s so hard for us to simulate what they (Highland Park) do in practice. And we talked about that. I said, ‘I can’t simulate what you’re going to see. I can tell you about it and we can look through some things but you’re not going to know until you see it in real life game action.’ So I think it was a little bit of a shock at first.”
The Pantherettes finished the season 16-1-4 and made it further into the playoffs than they have in recent years. But the team will look different next year after losing six seniors.
Sharp said he has a good core of girls returning next year, but these seniors will be hard to replace.
“The seniors have left the program better now than it was when they were freshmen,” Sharp said. “We’ve been 6A now for four years. They’ve been a part of that every year and we didn’t get past the second round of the playoffs. Well, we got past the second round of the playoffs, so we’re doing something right.”