Navarro gave the top-ranked Apache Ladies the strong competition they so desire, but the Bulldogs were unable to pull off an upset Thursday night.
Sophomore forward Chelsea Palmer and freshman midfielder Cayla Cortez scored second-half goals to lift Tyler Junior College to a 2-0 Region XIV soccer win on Sophomore Night at Pat Hartley Field.
The Apache Ladies improved to 16-0 overall and 4-0 in conference play as they are in good shape to host the regional tournament. Navarro fell to 8-3-1 and 2-1.
Palmer, from Plano, scored from between the posts into the upper right corner to break the deadlock with 27 minutes left in the second half. Sophomore Bianca Norman had the assist on a quick pass from the near post.
The Apache Ladies netted the critical second goal with 8:31 to play in the match. Cayla Cortez received a pass from Norman and kicked a short shot off the right post. Cortez, though, stayed with it and put in her own rebound at point-blank range to make it 2-0.
TJC dominated the second half after a somewhat lackluster first 45 minutes. The Apache Ladies had eight shots on goal in the second half after managing three before intermission. They also had five corner kicks to give them 11 overall.
Navarro, which was almost exclusively on the defensive in the final 36 minutes, finished the match with two shots on goal and one corner, all coming in the second half.
The Bulldogs were limited to one shot in the first half when Mariel Parra made a threatening run down the right sideline and delivered a kick wide left with 20 minutes left.
TJC had five total shots in the opening half against Navarro goalkeeper Carley Overstake, who didn’t have to go to the ground for a save until stopping Lauren Emmerson’s shot in the first five minutes of the second half.
Emmerson kept on the attack and almost scored with 31:30 on the clock when her header skimmed off the crossbar to keep the match scoreless.
SMOKE SIGNALS: The TJC sophomores honored before the game were Ashley Aparicio (Chapel Hill HS), Danielle Connolly (Scotland), Katie Miller (Mineola), Lauren Pena (Mesquite), April Goodman (Plano), Christa Robinson (Lufkin), Taryn Pardoe (England), Norman (Las Vegas, Nev.), Palmer (Dallas), Chandler Murphy (Norman, Okla.), Kelsie Weeks (Longview), April Syme (Canada), Emmerson (Scotland) and goalkeeper Hideka Shikata (Japan), who posted the shutout. … The TJC marching band, which was practicing on the adjacent field, performed the national anthem before the soccer match.