What a finishing kick for Central Christian College’s women’s soccer team here Saturday.
The Lady Tigers, after battling to a 0-0 halftime tie with Texas College, erupted for three goals after the break for a 3-0 victory, their third in a row.
Central, which barely had enough players to field a team last year, is now 7-2 on the season as it continues its amazing turnaround.
Krystina Stackhouse finally broke the scoreless drought 7 minutes into the second half on an unassisted goal, then Isabella Sierra, after a nice set-up from Jaclyn Caranza and Marianna Mercer, scored 2 minutes later. Ursulina Nestares provided the icing with a goal with 13 minutes to go.
The Lady Tigers’ Shayna Watkins was called on to make only two saves, while Central peppered Texas College goalie Michelle De la Garza, who scrambled to 19 saves as CCC controlled the game.
“We had plenty of possession today, but Texas College frustrated us quite a bit,” CCC coach Scott Fogarty said. "They are very much a 'defense-first' team and put plenty of players behind the ball. The first half was particularly tough for us. It looked like we cared more about possession than what we were doing in possession. That changed after half. We had more conviction and purpose with our passes and movement off the ball.”
All it took was for the first goal to unlock the offense.
“After we got our first goal in the second half, they had to come out of their shell a bit and meet us higher of the field and that resulted almost immediately in us finding space in behind and creating two more goals,” Fogarty said. “Overall, I'm happiest about the shutout and limiting them to only four shots all game. It was a very strong performance from our back line, starting with Amber Murray and Mackenzie Woods. Kaitlyn Bevel and Jessica Roberts also continue to be revelations at outside back, a position new to both of them.”
The Lady Tigers will try to ride the momentum on Wednesday when they host city rival McPherson College at 5:30 p.m.
• Texas College men 2, Central 1, OT — It was another tough loss for the Tigers, who fell to 3-6 on the season.
The Tigers, down 1-0 at the half, tied the game in the 73rd minute on a goal by Ray Anderson off a corner kick by Gabriel Flores.
Texas College scored just 1:26 into the overtime on a goal by Azar Orgo, assisted by Samuel Sanchez.
Antonio Ramirez Villa, making his first start in goal after joining the team just two weeks ago, turned back eight shots for the Tigers. CCC actually had a huge advantage in shots as this is a game it will probably feel like it let get away.
“Another great game for us, yet another non-result,” a disappointed CCC coach Aaron Hoxie said. “We have fixed our attack, as we generated 26 shots, but we are lacking the quality of the final ball. We are improving, but we are in the point of the season where improving needs to produce yield. Defensively we have been rocked by going down two players. But we defended very well today and limited their quick attack to simple balls in behind. They must feel fortunate to receive the gifts we gave them. We need to clean that up. I'm very proud of the guys for their performance today. For 65 minutes of this match, there was only one team on the field.”
Central hosts McPherson College at 8 p.m. Wednesday.