Keller steps aside in playoffs

04/14/2014 1:12 PM

04/14/2014 1:13 PM

Keller reached the girls soccer regional semifinals before bowing out to Hebron last week, ending another deep run for the Lady Indians.

Keller had gotten past Central in the quarterfinals, 3-0, to set up its semifinals match with Hebron last Friday night at Northwest ISD Stadium.

Hebron beat Keller, 4-1, and went on to beat Carroll in the regional finals, 1-0. Hebron now moves on to the state tournament.

The District 4-5A’s strength was evident, as Timber Creek was Carroll’s opponent in the other quarterfinal game. The regional games were moved to Northwest’s campus rather than Midland, due to the local flavor of the teams participating.

Timber Creek head coach Mike King said the location change likely saved each school about $2,000 in travel and lodging expenses.

For Keller, it was a strong showing following a season which saw 15 seniors graduate.

“It was an unbelievable season,” said Keller head coach Billy Griffiths. Keller ended at 15-5-4.

The Lady Indians started four freshmen this year, and Griffiths was unsure how the season would unfold.

“Once we got the season started, it wasn’t so much a surprise,” Griffiths said of the team’s success. “I didn’t know what was coming in terms of the level of play they showed. Once we got into school, I could see the talent.

“We’ll regroup and the goal is the same as the end of last season,” Griffiths said, “to get (to the playoffs) and go one step further.”

Timber Creek, which lost to Carroll 2-1 in the regional quarterfinals, came away able to live with the loss.

“We played our best game we’ve played all year,” said King. “It was phenomenal. For the first time in 19 years, I walked off the field with no feeling of what-ifs or regrets. We did everything we had to do to win the game, but just came up a little bit short. I’m so proud of the girls.”

King said the team was able to keep the regional appearance in perspective, knowing they were facing the state’s top-ranked team while playing in just the school’s fourth varsity season.

But, after just four years, there is already a tradition at Timber Creek, as the Lady Falcons have seen the playoffs every year.

“It’s the job of the younger ones to pick up the pieces and carry on the tradition,” King said. “It’s great to see the six seniors lead this team. They tell the others why we do it this way and why we don’t do some things this way.”

The Lady Falcons end the season at 16-7-1.

Central was the third district team still alive heading into the quarterfinals. The Lady Chargers were tagged as underdogs most of the season and into the playoffs, but continued to string together wins to make the regional round of the playoffs.

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