The Fort Worth Arlington Heights girls havent faced a deficit since early in the soccer season.
On Thursday, the Yellow Jackets showed how much mettle they still have as winger Ella Iker-Smith knocked home a rebound for the game winner in a 2-1 sectional round playoff victory over Cleburne at Handley Field.
Heights (20-4-2) meets Trophy Club Nelson (25-2-1) in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Monday at Farrington Field.
Ive been waiting on plays like that this season, Iker-Smith said. I just looked up and there the ball was. I saw the keeper come at me so I just tried to kick it past her motion.
The result was a high shot in the left corner that proved the back-breaker in the 77th minute.
Iker-Smith shot right on the free kick and looked for any deflection that might materialize.
The goal capped an impressive offensive front that the Yellow Jackets pressed for much of the game. Heights possessed the ball 13 times in the first half and had five shots on goal.
Cleburne (15-6-6) struck first and held a 1-0 lead through much of the game after Charity Gonzales chipped in a rebound off the shot of Brandy Villasana in the 12th minute.
But Heights kept cool and worked over Cleburne with speed and runs that began to move the ball deeper into position.
Im just really happy with how they kept their composure and stayed with it, Heights coach Marcus Daugherty said. It was in doubt, for sure, but they just wouldnt quit and then we got some great goalkeeping tonight also.
Keeper Christina Romo made the save of the game in the waning seconds when Cleburne was awarded a final corner kick with 10 seconds remaining.
Taylor Bicknells effort on the left side of the net was snared by Romo and she held it to run out the clock.
India Wentz squared things for Heights with a rebound goal in the 57th minute.
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