They came with towels, umbrellas, ponchos, and hoodies. They sat in their cars, lined the fence, and sat in the bleachers. Fans sat through the rain determined not to miss watching the Tyler Junior College women’s soccer team defeat Butler County (Kan.) Community College 3-1 at Pat Hartley Field on Friday afternoon.
A steady rain fell as the game got underway. The Apache Ladies were the first on the board. Sophomore forward Tricia Gould passed the ball to freshman forward Chloe Burr who sent the ball to the back of the net.
TJC used the momentum to surge ahead and scored again in the 19th minute. Sophomore midfielder Esme Lancaster set up the play with the ball in the deep right side of the field. She passed it to Burr who passed it to freshman forward Ayana Williams who knocked the ball in from 10 yards out to give the Apache Ladies a two-goal lead.
That would be the last goal of the half but did not stop TJC’s momentum. In the 52nd minute, freshman midfielder Lacee Blakeley beat Butler goalie Kelsi Langley to the ball and headed the ball in to score TJC’s third goal of the match.
Both teams battled hard during the match which led to several tough plays including TJC freshman forward Alicia Cooper going headfirst into the padded fence going after a ball. She was taken off the field and evaluated by trainers on the sideline but appeared to be OK. She was standing up on the sidelines with her teammates within minutes.
Butler was looking to avoid the shutout and did so by scoring its lone goal in the 83rd minute. Sophomore midfielder Morgan Foster took the penalty kick for the Lady Grizzlies which found the back of the net. However, it wasn’t enough as the Apache Ladies shut them down for the last seven minutes to take the match.
Butler (7-2) next plays Garden City (Kan.) Community College at 6 p.m. on Friday. TJC (7-2) next plays at Northeast Texas Community College at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
SMOKE SIGNALS: The Apaches’ soccer match at Paris on Friday was postponed due to rainy weather conditions. The match will now be played at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Paris. TJC (5-0) plays NE Texas at 5 p.m. Saturday in Mount Pleasant.