The Hays Lady Rebels soccer team dropped to 0-1-1 in district play after a 3-1 loss to the Anderson Lady Trojans Tuesday at Bob Shelton Stadium.
With 20:15 left on the clock in the first half, an unlucky break for the Lady Rebels resulted in Anderson’s first goal of the game, causing a momentum swing in the Lady Trojans’ favor.
Anderson sophomore Samantha Fulton tallied the game’s first goal after the ball was deflected off of her by a clearing kick from Hays freshman goalkeeper Bella Briceno. The ball then bounced into the open field where Fulton had an easy shot on goal with an open net.
“I think we always had a chance to win, but we were just very unlucky with the first goal,” said Hays head coach Mario Bellver. “It was a mistake that we can definitely improve on. But it was also something where we had the mistake, they got lucky and got the score.”
Anderson extended its lead to 2-0 in the second half on a penalty kick by senior Kate Caven in the top left corner of the net. Despite being down by two goals, Hays kept fighting and eventually cut the lead to 2-1 with 14:37 remaining on a 30-yard chip shot by junior striker Kayli Wagner.
“I mean, Kayli is an amazing player,” Bellver said. “She has an amazing shot, and whenever she plays striker she is really good.”
Over the final ten minutes of the match, Hays went on the attack and generated several opportunities to equalize. However, all Lady Rebel chances were unsuccessful. A Fulton goal with less than four minutes left in the match placed Anderson ahead 3-1 and the game out of reach.
“You know it was 2-1 and we still had a chance, we got all of our offensive players out there,” Bellver said. “We had to pull one (player) out because there was the danger of her getting a red card, and we really wanted to be able to use her Friday against Bowie. So at the end we were also just thinking about the next game.”
Anderson out-shot Hays 17-7 for the match, while also edging out the Lady Rebels 11-5 with shots on goal. Briceno ended the game with nine total saves for the Lady Rebels.
Even though the ending result was a loss, Bellver liked what he saw from his team with the effort and positive attitude they displayed towards the end of the second half.
“Positives I take away from this game is that they never gave up even when there was ten minutes left and we were down,” Bellver said. “They kept playing and we scored that first goal, and they tried to pursue the other one and it didn’t work out. It happens, it’s soccer.”
In order to bounce back and get a win in their next game Bellver wants to see the Lady Rebels carry over a positive attitude into their next match on Friday.
“So I talked to the girls and I want to see a positive attitude,” Bellver said. “Whenever we scored the one goal and we came all together and we were trying to score the second goal, that’s the (attitude) I want to see from them on Friday.”
Hays will look to get its first win in district play Friday when the Lady Rebels host Bowie at 7:45 p.m. at Shelton Stadium.