Keller soccer doomed by missed opportunities
A steady barrage of shots by Keller players never found the net, and Pflugerville Hendrickson came away with a 1-0 overtime win against the Indians in a UIL Class 6A girls soccer semifinal Friday at Birkelbach Field.
Bryana Hunter, Henrickson’s 6-feet-1 junior midfielder, slipped by three defenders to score on a header in the 98th minute off a corner kick from Christina Arteaga.
The Hawks (18-4-4) advance to Saturday’s 4 p.m. final against Katy Tompkins (19-4-3).
The corner was the Hawks’ only set piece of the match, while Keller (21-3-2) had seven corner kicks.
“Once we got into the second overtime, I thought we would go to penalty kicks,” Keller coach Billy Griffiths said. “Every so often you have one of those days where you play good enough to win, you might even deserve to win, but that’s this game. It was one of those days where we couldn’t get one to go in.”
The Indians certainly had scoring opportunities, outshooting the Hawks 7-0 in the first half, 4-0 in the first 10-minute overtime period, and 20-6 for the match.
“We were so excited that sometimes we lacked composure in front of the goal,” said Keller senior forward AK Ward, who recorded four shots, including two on-goal. “We normally aren’t like that. It was such a big game and it kind of threw us off a little bit. We did work really hard.”
Keller forward Gabriella Coleman led the team with seven shots, including four that were saved by Hendrickson freshman goalkeeper MaKenna Garcia. She recorded eight saves in the match to earn the shutout.
“All we were talking about was trying to run a their fullbacks all day,” Griffiths said. “It was working and they started to get tired, but we made those opportunities and can’t get them to go in.
“It just takes one mistake. In a game like that against a team like this, you lose that game.”
While the Keller offense did attack more often than the Hawks, Ward said the team played into Hendrickson’s methods.
“They play with the ball in the air and we don’t normally play with the ball in the air, we normally play with the ball on the ground,” Ward said. “With them playing it in the air, we played like them and that threw us off a little bit.”