DENTON — The Grapevine girls soccer team came into Tuesday’s Class 5A regional quarterfinal match at Bronco Field prepared to defend Hebron’s speed, chasing down deep lob passes from midfield.
But it was the exact opposite that set up Hebron’s lone goal en route to the Hawks ending Grapevine’s season 1-0.
Hebron (17-3-3) deviated from its typical dump-and-chase offense, working a series of passes along the touchline on a counterattack. Hebron’s Reid Sibley connected with Ellen Starnes on a quick pass that was flicked forward into the box, landing at the feet of Evan Pipkin. Ultimately, a simple chip shot by Pipkin over the charging keeper was all that was needed to eventually take the game from Grapevine (19-5-4).
“In this game, the difference was the one counter that Hebron got in the first half,” Grapevine coach Ryan Davis said. “It was a great counter, and the girl was decisive. I think that was the difference in much of the rest of the game.”
A lack of execution kept Grapevine’s scoring chances to a minimum throughout the night, much to Davis’ disappointment.
The never-ending hustle of Grapevine’s Kendall Vardell created her team’s greatest threat as she muscled her way through the middle of the field only to be bumped off the ball in the Hebron box by a defender. Both fans and coaches alike begged for an explanation of the no-call for minutes after the play.
“Our precision was missing tonight — just the crisp cleanness that we’ve been able to play with,” Davis said. “A lot of that is due to Hebron and how hard they worked, and the kind of players they have gave us troubles.”
Grapevine junior goalkeeper Taylor Bruan stood up well to the challenge of defending Hebron’s lob passes and speed off her line. Several 50-50 chances were thwarted by Braun’s sliding clearances or dives into contact to pull in the ball.
“The stuff that was direct and the stuff that she had to come off her line she handled well, and she cleaned up her 18 well,” Davis said.
Hebron moves into the regional tournament this weekend at Scharbauer Sports Complex in Midland.
We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.
Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?