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Dallas Soccer News - Birdville Girls High School Soccer, Birdville's season ends with loss in regional final

Birdville's season ends with loss in regional final

Published 4/7/2007 11:13:06 PM by Tobias Lopez from Dallas, Texas
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Birdville girls soccer coach Eddie Brown didn't blame the regional final loss on his players but rather "the soccer gods."

The Lady Hawks were one step from the state tournament but an unexpected goal-scoring drought saw North Richland Hills Birdville fall 2-0 to Wichita Falls Rider in the Class 4A Region I final.

"I think in the second half we had the effort, the energy," Brown said. "But when I saw that ball hit the crossbar I knew the soccer gods were against us tonight."

The senior-laden Lady Hawks (21-3-4) had opportunities cleared off the line, just high or a few feet wide, but never in the goal. Birdville trailed 1-0 at the half, but most of the final 30 minutes saw the Lady Hawks holding possession in the Rider half of the field.  However, Birdville couldn't translate the advantage into shots on goal. The Lady Hawks pushed forward but didn't do so with enough composure.

"I think we kind of frustrated them when they weren't getting good looks," Rider coach Carl Wiersema said.

The lack of poise kept Birdville from finding key forward Sarah Wilkinson with much time of possession or opportunities.

Rider (20-4-2) sealed the match with 17:53 remaining when the Lady Raiders made the most of a Birdville miscue for the 2-0 lead.  From that point on Rider was able to pack it in defensively in a wall that couldn't be broken.

Birdville faced 23 mph gusts from a stout headwind in the first half that made the 49-degree temperature feel more like 40. Rider held the better of possession early in the opening half, but the Lady Hawks had a flurry of three quality chances around the 18th minute.

A collision forced Rider starting goalkeeper Kathleen Stewart from the match after a mosh pit in the Rider penalty area.  By the 20th minute Birdville had settled down and counteracted the wind by playing the ball along the ground through midfield.

However, Rider opened the scoring against the run of play in the 28th minute. A quick cross from the right flank fell to Madison Grassi from about 8 yards out. Birdville goalkeeper Jane Picarelli got a hand on Grassi's shot but couldn't keep it out.


Label: Birdville Girls High School Soccer, Birdville's season ends with loss in regional final
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