In the middle of the penalty box, Hays’ Maya Hood crumpled in a heap. Her latest shot attempt eeked outside of the goal, just past the outstretched hands of the Lake Travis Cavalier goalkeeper.
There were about four minutes left in the second half when Hood’s shot nibbled at the left corner of the net, before falling out of bounds.
Hays didn’t attempt another shot on goal, losing 3-2 Friday to Lake Travis.
“We had some opportunities to at least tie if not go beyond,” said Hays coach Brent Holcomb. “It’s difficult, really difficult, when you’re up 2-0 and give up three (goals) and still have guts. I thought in the second half that we showed that we could hang. We just couldn’t buy the goals at the end.”
It took less than six minutes for Hays to earn its first goal as Chasity Haas opened the proceedings with a quick goal from outside of the penalty box, which was a ball that dribbled once and then past the goalkeeper.
Nicole Lewis joined the goal party eight minutes later, receiving a cross from a teammate and converting the opportunity. The Rebels led 2-0, with 65 minutes left in the game.
Everything seemed to point in Hays’ favor at that point.
“The first 25 minutes of the game, we were in total control of the ball,” Holcomb said.
Lake Travis didn’t need much time to erase its mounting deficit. A quick strike from Trinity Clark shaved the deficit to one goal with 17:43 remaining in the first half.
Less than a minute later, the Cavaliers were celebrating the game-tying goal. Caroline Brooks unfurled a high-arcing shot from more than 15 years out that beat the goalkeeper to the spot.
All of Hays’ momentum was erased in a span of 26 seconds.
“The two goals they made in quick succession – those goals were a huge combination of a bad touches, some miscommunication,” Holcomb said. “The other thing is keeping your head and maintaining discipline and positivity as a team. We didn’t do that fast enough to keep successive goals from happening.”
Lake Travis added another goal from Alyssa Baena to close the first half with a lead they would not relinquish. Neither team scored a goal in the second half.
“We got knocked off a little of our game, but I was very proud of how we came back and we fought the second half,” Holcomb said. “I gotta hand it to LT. They are a good team.”
Holcomb said his team is still learning how to have a short memory, even when things are going right.
That skill would have come in handy Friday night.