Despite Landry injuries, girls soccer off to good start
By BOB VARMETTE
It was not a good week for Liberty Hill junior goalkeeper Brooke Landry.
On Jan. 6 in a scrimmage at Hutto, she injured a finger on her left hand. Three days later, in the Lady Panthers’ first official UIL-sanctioned girls soccer match, she broke a finger in her right hand.
Then she found out the finger on her left hand – the one she thought was just jammed – was also broken.
“It’s disappointing, but hopefully I’ll be back right after (it heals) and thankfully it’s just my junior year,” Landry said. “I’m glad I’m not a senior – that’d be really disappointing.”
It’s not a devastating injury for the Lady Panthers (1-1). Liberty Hill had been playing two goalkeepers, with Landry playing one half and freshman Mackenzy Turner playing the other half.
Against Canyon Lake Friday – a 3-0 win for Liberty Hill – Landry started and injured her right hand during the first.
“One of those soccer things,” Liberty Hill coach Kelsy Quinn said.
It came on a corner kick. The ball wasn’t cleared by the Lady Panthers and Landry went to retrieve the ball. In the process, she went to the ground and her right hand got stepped on – possibly by a teammate.
Landry is not sure because it happened quickly. But she did stay on the pitch and finished the first half as scheduled.
Landry informed Quinn of the injury, but was still hoping to play in Liberty Hill’s second match of the day, against Stephenville. Quinn, after agreeing to let Landry warm up to see if she could play, decided instead to rest her and go the entire match against the Honeybees with Turner.
“Brooke has one of the highest pain tolerances I’ve seen for a girl,” Quinn said. “She was playing with what we thought was a sprained finger for almost a week and really not complaining. Then to have her hand get stepped on, and she was still raring to go.”
The hand injuries are expected to sideline Landry for six weeks. Until her return, the Lady Panthers will go solely with Turner, starting Thursday against Kingsville in the Salado tournament, although they do have emergency back-ups.
“I guess it’s kind of exciting, but also nerve-wracking,” Turner said. “I was nervous when I started, but then it was just playing soccer.” Quinn said she is confident Turner will answer the challenge – she considered the two goalkeepers to be pretty equal in playing ability.
Fitness also should not be an issue for Turner.
“Physically, she’s fit enough that even if we’re getting shot at over and over again she’ll be okay,” Quinn said. “If that does happen she’ll just have to make sure that she stays mentally focused. I don’t think we’re going to be lacking anything with Mackenzy in goal.”
Overall, Quinn said, the tournament went well for the Lady Panthers, despite the injury to Landry. There’s still room for improvement, she said, particularly with ball control, which is something Liberty Hill has been working on since the pre-season scrimmages.
The foundation is there, she said, but the team’s first touch and passing accuracy have to get better.
But there were no first-official-match jitters, Quinn said. She didn’t expect there would be any anxiety issues, with nearly 90 percent of the team having played together last season in their transition campaign.
Even the 1-0 loss to Stephenville was a well-played match for Liberty Hill.
“It was a pretty evenly matched game,” Quinn said. “I think we had about the same amount of shots on goal. It was just a matter of we kept giving them the ball because we had a bad first touch. It’s not necessarily that they were working harder than us – we were just making their job a little bit easier.
“Stephenville had a lot more athleticism on their team. I think we were a little more skilled. We just didn’t show it,” she said.