High School Sports

Girls soccer playoffs: Nelson senior’s hat trick helps topple Kennedale

The Trophy Club Nelson girls soccer team entered Tuesday night’s Class 4A Region I quarterfinal matchup against Kennedale having stormed through the first three rounds of the playoffs with a goal differential of 15 to 1.

The Bobcats wasted little time asserting themselves, putting pressure on Kennedale early in each half on their way to a 5-1 win at Farrington Field.

Nelson (20-2-5) will play in the Region I semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Wichita Falls against Lubbock Monterey, which beat El Paso Chapin on Tuesday night.

The Bobcats’ offense Tuesday was powered by Madison Hall’s hat trick.

Less than four minutes into the game, the Nelson senior found an opening around the right of the Kennedale defense, placing one in the back left side of the goal for a score. After Claire Hamilton tied the contest for Kennedale (20-6-1) in the 11th minute, Hall put Nelson ahead for good with a goal from near the center of the field.

Nelson brought the pressure early again in the second half. Junior Ansley Bunger tapped one in for a score after a battle for the ball near the goal left an empty net. That put Nelson up 3-1 in the 41st minute.

Four minutes later, Alexis Smith had an open look at the goal for Nelson, but her shot sailed high.

Shortly after that, Kennedale goalkeeper Skylar Crowley kept things close with a save on a strong shot by Nelson. But the Bobcats as a whole kept the Wildcats from mustering much penetration into Nelson territory.

Hall nearly clinched the hat trick in the 64th minute when she had a look close to the goal, missing off the right post. Less than two minutes later, Hall got another shot at the trifecta and connected.

Smith scored Nelson’s final goal in the 74th minute.