Robert E. Lee fired shot after shot at Mesquite on Tuesday, but the Lady Skeeters — and in particular freshman keeper Mara McGee — were up the challenge to keep the game scoreless in regulation.
McGee then capped her evening by besting REL in the shootout, securing two points for Mesquite (2-2-2, 9 pts) while REL had to settle for a point.
The Lady Raiders (4-0-2 15 pts) remained unbeaten in District 11-5A play, but are now tied with Longview for first place in the standings.
Lee riddled McGee with eight shots on goal in the second half alone, but couldn’t break through. Her best of the game occurred with 12 minutes to play when Lee’s Taylor Winchester sent a swerving shot labeled for the top right corner, only for McGee to dive and get enough of a hand on it to push the ball over the bar.
“She made a blinder save on (Winchester’s shot), but it’s tough when they’ve got nine people back there (playing defense) … but we still have to do better,” Lee coach Chris Woodard said. “We had several looks, some that were right in front of the goal. We had opportunities to win the game.”
REL had two more chances in the closing minutes, the final of which came on a volley from Julia Harrison, which got over McGee, but narrowly skimmed over the cross bar.
This set up a shootout with a goalkeeper full of confidence, while Lee’s Allie Telscher had been virtually a spectator for the entire second half.
Both of Mesquite’s first two shootout takers were able to beat Telscher while Harrison’s shot beat McGee, but not the post, making it 2-1. Needing a save to keep her team in it, Telscher responded by palming away the Lady Skeeters’ next shot. Brooke Johnston then scored to tie things up at 2-2.
Mesquite’s Jennifer Olguin was able to put the visitors back on top while Lee’s taker fired over the cross bar. Telscher diverted a possible game-winning attempt from Mesquite, but REL still had to beat McGee. The final Lee shootout takers’ shot was blocked away, setting off a celebration by the Lady Skeeters.
“Every game is a learning experience for us and we continue to gain confidence as a team,” Mesquite coach Scott Rutherford said.
The Lady Raiders finished with 12 shots on goal compared to three for Mesquite, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Lee’s Dariana Avila had a goal waived off in the first half for offsides while Taylor Tillson was inches away from making Mesquite pay for a bad backpass to McGee.
“Their whole gameplan was to play nine people in the back and suffer through it and try to get to a shootout and it worked for them,” Woodard said. “We’ve got to move better off the ball. But we still haven’t lost (in district). It feels like a loss and we have a shutout, so there were some good things about it.”
Lee Boys Soccer Game Postponed
The Red Raiders and Mesquite Skeeters were ready to play Tuesday, but the lights at Berry Field did not cooperate. The coaches decided to reschedule the game for 5:30 p.m. today at E.H. Hanby Stadium in Mesquite.