CONVERSE – Dominant play carried the Dripping Springs girls soccer team to a lopsided 4-0 bi-district round win March 28 over the Wagner Lady Thunderbirds at the Frank Arnold Athletic Complex.
“Always the first one getting it under your belt is big,” said Lady Tigers head coach Bailee Perrine. “There is so much time in between the last district game and the first playoff game, and all you can do is kind of stress about it. So finally to get the first one under your belt lets you relax a little bit more.”
Lady Tigers senior Zoe Flores had a game to remember as she scored two goals in the first half of play, setting the pace for Dripping Springs’ strong offensive performance. Flores finished a one-on-one shot against Wagner’s goalkeeper at the 33-minute mark to get things going, and later in the half scored on a corner set piece where she bent the ball around the keeper and into the back corner of the net.
“Zoe is a force to be reckoned with,” Perrine said. “She’s always on top of it. She gets a little hot sometimes, but I think it’s part of the passion of the game. The team kind of feeds off of her energy and gets after it. She’s one of those people that makes sure the ball goes in the goal.”
Dripping Springs kept its attack going as the Lady Tigers scored two more goals in the final 40 minutes of play. One goal was scored by junior Caroline Luttrull and the other by sophomore Sofia Picucci. Luttrull capitalized early in the half when a deflected ball went in front of her and she seized the moment and sliced it past the goalie. Picucci’s goal happened with under a minute remaining where she put the nail in Wagner’s coffin with a striking goal on another one-on-one opportunity.
For the match, the Lady Tigers out shot the Lady Thunderbirds 25-7, with 14-4 shots on goal.
The win marked the 16th time this season that Dripping Springs scored four or more goals in a contest. Meanwhile, the Lady Tigers notched the program’s 15th shutout this season.
“Possession was our plan, like possess, possess and make sure to play to us,” said Perrine. “See the open pass and make sure to not force things, because this team is quick and aggressive.”
Perrine liked what she saw in terms of holding possession throughout the match. One teaching point that Perrine implemented this season to help the team with time of possession was the “two-touch” rule.
“I tell them a lot you kind of have to play on two touches,” said Perrine. “If you play with more than two touches the opportunity to pass is gone. You can’t force it because if you force it, you’re probably going to lose it.”
Another factor in the Lady Tigers success in keeping possession is the calm mindset they have in tough situations. A practice the team has picked up this season is yoga, and Perrine can already see it paying off on the field.
“I’m also real big into yoga and the girls have bought into that,” Perrine mentioned. “At halftime, they wanted to meditate, so we took a minute to meditate and think about what to do differently the second half. I really feel the girls executed on those things we talked about at halftime.”