All Saints goalie Megan Daviau kept out Rilee Miller’s penalty kick midway through the first half. She couldn’t keep out the Grace Community winger’s effort a couple minutes later.
Miller converted a corner kick from Caroline Rook to break a scoreless tie and propel the Lady Cougars to a 2-0 victory in a TAPPS D-II District 2 soccer match at Mewbourne Field on Thursday.
In the boys game prior, Micah Florey and Michael Crawford each scored twice as the Cougars earned a 6-0 win over the Trojans.
The Lady Cougars (11-3-4, 6-1-2) clinched second place in district for the second straight year with their shutout victory, ensuring a home playoff game in the first round.
Grace was awarded a penalty kick with 22:30 left in the first half and Grace coach Mitch Smith went with his gut in sending Miller to take her first PK of her career.
Daviau, who made nine saves on the night, was up to the task, blocking the shot and pouncing on the rebound.
“That’s a coaching error; we haven’t really practiced PKs,” Smith said. “We’ve had two or three this season and somehow I can’t seem to put those in the net so we’re definitely going to have to work on that.”
With 18:08 to play, Miller made up for her miss by knocking in a corner kick from Rook.
“I think the girls played really hard after that; I think they woke up,” Smith said.
The score was all goalie Abby Pennell and the Lady Cougars defense would need as they held the Lady Trojans (2-2-8) to five shots, three on target.
“It’s a young team — only have one senior on the team — all the girls are playing well and I’m very happy with it,” Smith said. “I was very pleased with the defense in the game.”
Lexi Trimble worked a give-and-go with Raquel Villarreal to give Grace a 2-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first half.
“That was just a really bright spot of the game,” Smith said. “That was a good set up and a nice goal. I liked that one.”
All Saints will play Dallas Christian at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Dallas. Grace goes out of district to play Center on Tuesday before finishing up the regular season at defending state champion Dallas Parish Episcopal on Thursday.
Before the Trojans could gain so much as a moment of possession, the Cougars (12-4-1, 10-1) had already put a ball in the back of their net.
Florey scored 90 seconds into the game and set the tone for a 6-0 beating.
“I was very impressed,” Grace coach Tom Alden. “At the whistle, they didn’t touch the ball and we scored. That was impressive, I thought. You don’t see that type of possession in high school soccer for very long.”
The win put Grace in position to win its first outright league title next week. Should the Cougars win or tie at Dallas Parish Episcopal next Thursday, Grace would be district champions.
The Cougars led 5-0 at halftime behind goals from Garrett Pillsbury, Kendrick Wong and two from Crawford.
“This week we’ve really started passing the ball and possessing it much better as a team,” Grace coach Tom Alden said. “We’re working toward that Parish game next Thursday.”
All Saints (1-1-8) managed five shots to 24 for Grace. Trojans keeper Harrison Pollard made 13 saves.
Pillsbury’s goal 10 minutes into the game made it 2-0 off a corner kick from Wong, who scored the next goal 12 minutes later by sweeping home a loose ball.
Crawford took advantage of a defensive mistake to make it 4-0 with 2:09 to play in the first half and he doubled his tally off a corner kick seconds before the halftime whistle sounded.
Pillsbury set up Florey for his second goal with 27:03 to play in the second half to conclude the scoring.
All Saints plays at Dallas Christian on Tuesday at 5 p.m. before finishing the year at home against Waco Reicher on Thursday. Grace is off until next Thursday’s showdown with the Panthers.
“We’re excited because we haven’t had a championship,” Alden said. “The guys are pumped up about the opportunity to do that. If I don’t have them ready to play for next Thursday’s game then I need to get fired.”