CORINTH — Don’t call District 11-4A fourth seed Lake Dallas’ 5-0 bi-district girls soccer victory over the District 12-4A champion Aledo an upset.
It was more of an unlucky draw for the Lady Bearcats against the last playoff seed in a highly competitive district.
As Aledo coach Bryan Johnson said, it was the first time his team faced a team as skilled and physical as Lake Dallas (17-16-4) since before district play began.
“We are the dominant team in our district, and we are a little more passive-aggressive,” Johnson said. “Out here in this district, it’s a little more aggressive, a little more collegiate style. Our girls played well under the pressure; we just never could get the ball down and possess and that’s our game.”
From the initial kickoff, it was obvious Lake Dallas’ physicality would give the Falcons extended possession for the remainder of the game, leading to an area-round date with Wichita Falls at 6 p.m. Friday at Denton’s Bronco Field.
It took just two shots for Lake Dallas to find the net first.
Forward Kristi Lantrip sent Lake Dallas’ first corner kick to the back side of the goal, drawing first blood 14 minutes into the match.
That goal was a heartbreaker for Aledo (16-6-2), which Johnson said practiced its corner kick defense thoroughly this week in anticipation of Lake Dallas’ proficiency on set pieces.
“That was something we had been working on and something we had anticipated them being solid on, and we didn’t have an answer for it,” Johnson said.
Aledo entered halftime in a 3-0 hole thanks to goals by Haley Bortnem and Ashley Bortnem.
Lantrip and Ashley Bortnem found the net in the second half, both within the first 15 minutes after halftime.
Lantrip finished with three assists to go along with her goal and was the catalyst for most Lake Dallas runs because of her ability to shield for the ball and make quick turns around Aledo’s defense.
“We really emphasize our forwards holding the ball, holding it to let the rest join, and from that the two of them have mastered being able to turn and go to goal,” Lake Dallas coach Mandy Hall said.
Those tactics were just part of the overall physical play of Lake Dallas that Aledo simply could not prepare for properly.
“I knew they would be physical,” Johnson said. “You practice against your players, but playing against them is a different ballgame.”
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