Girls seal invitation to Regionals with win over Fredericksburg

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By Lance Catchings

BURNET — Coming off of one day’s rest after an intense Area round match up against Wimberley, the Liberty Hill girls’ soccer team dug deep to defeat Fredericksburg in a Quarterfinal playoff match April 5 by a final score of 4-0 at Bulldog Stadium in Burnet. Liberty Hill Head Coach Darren Bauer said the team had to grind out the win, but that is what good teams do.

“After beating Wimberley, this was a tough game to follow,” Bauer said. “We got so pumped up and hyped for that one that once we won it, we had a little bit of a letdown. That showed in the first half of this game. We had a few jitters and did not play efficiently early. At the same time, we showed that even when we don’t play particularly well, we can still be dangerous.”

Kyla Boliek broke the scoring open in the 10th minute of the first half. She headed the ball in on a corner throw from teammate Brooke Briscoe to give Liberty Hill the 1-0 advantage. Boliek said that every goal gives her an amazing feeling.

“During corners, I go back post and Brianna is in front of me,” Boliek said. “The ball usually goes to her, but this time, it went straight to me and I just headed it in. It is a phenomenal feeling every time you score a goal. It gives you such a rush.”

Not to be outdone, Brianna Stark had a header of her own on a corner kick from Briscoe. In the 25th minute, Stark punched it in and Liberty Hill led 2-0 into halftime. Bauer said corner kicks are something the team tries to take advantage of.

“We have scored a lot of goals on corner kicks this year, and we always feel like we can be dangerous with them,” Bauer said. “We had some chances in the first half. It is something we make sure we are good at, because it is an efficient way to get goals when you are not playing that well.”

In the second half, Liberty Hill maintained the majority of possession and pushed the tempo on the Fredericksburg end of the field. Madi Fuller got in on the scoring action in the second half with a goal in the 52nd minute and another in the 63rd. Liberty Hill led 4-0 at this point, and was in full control of the game from then on.

Fuller was almost moved to tears when asked how she felt about the goals she scored.

“I was really excited when I scored those two goals, because they are my first two goals for the playoffs,” Fuller said. “I thought I had a chance, and I did it. I am very proud of the way my team played tonight. I have no words. My teammates make me so happy, and I love working with them. When we beat Wimberley, it was one of our proudest moments, and everyone was emotional, but I am very proud and thankful for everything. We are excited to go to Regionals, but know we still have to work hard.”

Bauer told his team after the game that they still have more to accomplish to reach their goal.

“We wanted to send a message, and we did,” he said. “We would have liked to send a little bit bigger one, but we did okay. We had another shutout, and four goals in the third round is nothing to take lightly. We wanted to keep the pressure on and not give them any chances, and that’s what we did.”

Liberty Hill now advances to the Regional Semifinals held at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium. The girls will play Friday at 12 Noon against Pleasanton.

Lance@LHIndependent.com

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