Grace splits soccer playoff DH

Grace Community's freshman Alex Schroeder makes a kick Saturday afternoon as she competes in a TAPPS 4A bi-district playoff game against Fort Bend Christian Academy at home in Tyler. (Sarah A. Miller | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

For all of Grace Community’s scoring on Saturday, coach Mitch Smith preferred another fact about his Lady Cougars’ effort — no shots allowed.

“I love that stat; that’s the best stat,” Smith said after his team’s 5-0 rout of Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian Academy at Clyde-Perkins Stadium.

The convincing victory in the TAPPS D-II area playoffs followed a disappointing loss from the Grace boys team. The Cougars fell 3-2 in overtime to El Paso Lydia Patterson in the same playoff round.


Rilee Miller scored twice and had an assist as the Lady Cougars (12-5-3) earned an easy win. Grace will play either Houston Second Baptist or San Antonio Christian in the regional round at a neutral site next weekend.

The Lady Cougars scored early and often, racking up 16 shots — eight on frame — while not allowing any shots from the Lady Eagles (11-9).

“This was the best game where we connected from the backfield to our midfield,” Smith said, noting the distribution from freshman stopper Madison Newman. “That’s the reason why we created so many opportunities in front of the goal.”

Lexi Trimble first-timed a cross from Caroline Rook less than four minutes into the game to get the Lady Cougars started.

Raquel Villareal scored a similar goal off a ball in from Miller with 21:45 to play in the first half. 

Moments later, Grace earned a penalty kick, which Rook coolly slotted into the lower left corner to give the Lady Cougars a 3-0 lead before Grace goalie Abby Pennell ever touched the ball.

The Lady Cougars started strong in the second half too, with Miller outracing a defender to make it 4-0 with 37:09 to play. Miller knocked in her second with 8:52 left following a corner kick from Callie Pillsbury.

“The midfield just did a phenomenal job,” Smith said, referring to Pillsbury, Rook, Miller and Bayli Long.


Santiago Torres was the hat trick hero for Patterson (6-4), an independent TAPPS school that made the playoffs by beating the fifth-place team from District 4 in a play-in game Friday night, 8-1. 

The Cougars (12-5-2) were stunned by the golden goal first-round loss after earning their first outright district championship a week ago.

“I’m still kind of shocked,” Cougars coach Tom Alden said. “When you’re the No. 1 seeded team you’re supposed to get an easy first round draw, but the way this TAPPS is designed, we got probably one of the top teams in the state to have to play in the first round. 

“They’re probably the best team we played all year.”

Torres scored the first and last goal of regulation before he headed in the winner 2:38 into the first overtime period.

 “My kids, they just didn’t stop,” Lions coach Ruben Yuen said. “They have a great team, Grace. I just thank the Lord for this win. It’s a big win for us. I’m very proud of my kids. They were fighters.”

Patterson, which won three straight state titles from 2005-2007, will face either Houston Emery Weiner or San Antonio Christian in the regional round.

Torres put the Lions ahead 11 minutes before halftime, heading in a corner kick from Arturo Jacobo.

With 20 minutes to play, Grace’s Garrett Pillsbury was brought down in the corner of the box. Pillsbury drilled the ensuing penalty into the back of the net to equalize.

The goal sparked the Cougars as they hounded the Lions goal for the next 10 minutes. At the 16:56 mark, Kendrick Wong, a left-footed winger, connected with his right foot to put Grace up 2-1.

“He’s been working real hard on that all year,” Alden said of Wong’s right foot. “It’s been fun to see how much he’s improved and then to get to score with the right on a nice shot was fun.”

Grant Gordon nearly put the Cougars up 3-1 with a shot from 12 yards out that Patterson goalkeeper Jose Saenz was just able to push wide with his fingertips.

With newfound life after the sprawling save, Torres was able to get to a free kick from Jacobo and bounce the ball into the back of the net with 5:30 left to force extra time.

“I truly respect Grace,” Ruen said. “We were nervous to be honest with you because I know they’re a very talented team. (It was a) great come back.”

The Lions outshot the Cougars 25-11 for the game, including 10-5 in shots on goal. 

Though he was upset with result after playing an impressive unseeded team, Alden said he was pleased with the way his team competed.

“I was happy with the guys,” he said. “They didn’t leave anything back. We have nothing to hang our heads or be disappointed about. 

“(The Lions) were a better team.”


Brook Hill Girls Move On

Kendall Wells scored four times as Bullard Brook Hill clobbered Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills 8-0 on Saturday in the TAPPS D-III area playoffs.

Kennedy Rose and Haley Dumesnil each scored twice and notched three assists for the Lady Guard, who will play either New Braunfels Christian or Austin Veritas in the regional round.

Stormie Thoene made six saves in goal for Brook Hill.

“The defense played very well today,” Lady Guard coach David Collins said.

The Lady Guard led 4-0 at halftime.

TAPPS Division II



El Paso Lydia Patterson 8, Katy Pope John Paul XXIII 1


Grapevine Faith Christian 2, T.K. Gorman 1

El Paso Lydia Patterson 3, Grace Community 2, OT




T.K. Gorman 1, Fort Worth Southwest Christian 0

Grace Community 5, Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian 0


T.K. Gorman vs. Austin Hyde Park-Houston Northland Christian winner, TBD

Grace Community vs. Houston Second Baptist-San Antonio Christian winner, TBD


TAPPS Division III



Tomball Rosehill Christian at Bullard Brook Hill, 5 p.m. Monday




Bullard Brook Hill 8, Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills 0


Bullard Brook Hill vs. Austin Veritas-New Braunfels Christian winner, TBD