by MOSES LEOS III
Friday night proved to be something special for the Hays Lady Rebels soccer team, not so for their opponents, the Bastrop Lady Bears.
Bastrop had been sporting a perfect 11-0-0 record going into the match.
The Lady Rebels fought for a full 80 minutes, as senior goalkeeper Sarah Sellstrom staved off the Lady Bear attack all evening. Her efforts in goal helped the Rebs hold Bastrop to a 0-0 tie, ending the Lady Bears’ bid for a perfect season.
With the tie, Hays’ record now stands at 7-1-3 with one game remaining in the 2013 season. The Lady Rebels hold their playoff positioning in their hands, as the team needs only a win over Giddings to claim second place in 49-4A.
When the Lady Rebels looked to keep momentum going in district play against the La Grange Lady Leopards.
Hays did just that, as the Lady Rebel offense overwhelmed La Grange all evening. Nine first half goals propelled Hays to a 9-0 shellacking of the Lady Leopards in a defacto home game at Lobo Field.
Hays soccer was played at the Lehman field because of the track meet being held at Shelton Stadium, usually the location for Hays soccer home play.
The tempo of the contest was set early by the Lady Rebels, who were on the offensive from the get-go. After a few close misses, senior Savannah Derrick would net the first of three goals in the match. Her goal, received from a cross by Mariah Guitan, gave the Rebels a 1-0 advantage.
“I really wanted to work on my placement, to work on my scoring. In soccer, you can always get better in that area,” Derrick said.
From there, the Rebels opened a tremendous scoring salvo, obtaining three goals in four minutes. Mila Bustos, who also scored three goals on the evening, attributed the Rebels’ success to strong play in the scoring third. “It was good moving the ball around. We did a great job of moving around the (penalty) box and getting into the middle,” Bustos said.
Smart passing, good movement and stout defense allowed Hays to control the pitch, not allowing La Grange any opportunity to work past the midfield.
“All teams strive to move as a unit. The last several games, we have done a good job to move forward together. When you shorten the field and take away passing lanes, it is more efficient soccer,” said Hays head coach Brent Holcomb.
When all was said and done, the Lady Rebels would overpower La Grange, scoring five more goals before the end of the first half. In the second half, the Lady Rebels took the foot off of the gas, giving themselves an opportunity to work efficiently in the field.
“La Grange worked really hard tonight, they played their best. But tonight, we worked on some things that made the girls uncomfortable; it was a good uncomfortable. Sometimes, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Hopefully, we have a few more games ahead of us after district,” Holcomb said.
Derrick would second that sentiment, saying, “I think this was a good way to work on what we need to get better at. Against teams like Bastrop, we need to feel comfortable in what we are doing on the field.”