LHHS opens district with 21-0 demolition of Jarrell
By Lance Catchings
The Liberty Hill girls’ soccer team was in fine form Tuesday night at home, leaving no doubt who the defending district champions were with a 21-0 thrashing of Jarrell.
Twelve players scored goals in the district-opening win. Head Coach Darren Bauer could only laugh when asked if his team was prepared.
“We wanted to focus on playing our game and set the tempo early,” Bauer said. “We wanted to finish our opportunities and play the way we want to.”
Liberty Hill built up a 9-0 by halftime and was in complete control of the game from the starting whistle.
“In the first half, even though we led 9-0, we still did not finish our opportunities as well as we could have,” he said. “Some of the chances we had early on when it was still 1-0 with one-on-one chances against the keepers, we must do better with. Our energy and focus coming into the game was very good, in my opinion. Everybody was dialed in and kept their level up. Our younger girls and junior varsity girls we pulled up got a lot of chances and opportunities. They got to show exactly what our program is about. Whether it’s junior varsity or varsity, from top to bottom, we pride ourselves on being excellent.”
Piper Tabor led the team with four goals netted. Camilla Kouakou and Kyla Boliek each scored three. Athena Brown and Brooke Briscoe each scored two goals in the win. Madi Fuller, Emma Stephens, Nya Casebolt, Alyssa Lee, Kylee Bush, Bryden Bourgeois and Lauren Castillo all saw their attempts hit the back of the net, as well.
“There is not much to say when you score 21 goals,” Bauer said. “It is just one of those games where you must sit back and watch what happens. Some of our girls that had opportunities tonight don’t have opportunities most of the season, and they get in there to take care of business.”
Bauer said he never tries to run up a score on an opponent, but the girls are expected to play to their full potential no matter the competition level.
“It is not about staying on the gas, but rather continuing to play the way we want to play,” Bauer said. “We have to continue to finish our opportunities, no matter who we are playing against on the field. We don’t worry too much about our opponent, to be honest. We want to play our game and force teams to play against us in the style we want to play. We will just focus on us and being effective.”
Briscoe said it felt great to open district with a large victory the way her team did.
“Heading into district play is definitely a change, because we had a really hard preseason,” Briscoe said. “We know we may play a few games like this, but our focus is there. Bauer wants us to play these games just like we will play in playoffs, so we can be ready. All our starters will still be playing a lot to keep our feet under us. We still have a lot of things we need to practice and fix. We can use games like this to practice different formations and stuff we need to work on.”
When leading a district opponent by such a staggering number, it can be hard to keep focus, but Briscoe said her coach keeps the team in check.
“It can be difficult to not lose focus in large wins, but Coach Bauer usually keeps us in line, sometimes by yelling at us,” she laughed. “If he is not pleased with how we are performing, then we know the score doesn’t matter. We must keep playoffs in mind and how we are preparing for that in the long run.”
Last Friday night, the girls shutout Cedar Creek 6-0 in their last pre-district game of the year. Liberty Hill led 1-0 at half, but reeled off five straight goals in the second half to close out the game.
“I thought we played well against Cedar Creek in Bastrop last Friday,” Bauer said. “The girls dominated in the first half, although the score was only 1-0. The main thing we focused on the rest of that game was that we finished our chances. Some games we won’t get that many, so we need to make sure we finish the opportunities that we have. In the second half, we came out and did that. We scored two quick goals playing the way that we should, and it was a good warm up and a good way to finish.”
Fuller, Stephens, Tabor, Briscoe, Lee and Bourgeois all scored goals in the win. Briscoe also had three assists in the win, while Fuller and Brown each had one. Liberty Hill will travel to Florence Friday night for their second district contest of the season. The team will travel to Stephenville on Tuesday. Game time is set for 6:15 p.m.