KILLEEN - Bailey Gott might have had the best view in the house Saturday. Like the spectators at Leo Buckley Stadium, the Belton goalkeeper spent most of her day watching the Killeen ISD Centex Shootout championship game.
Filling in for starting goalkeeper Kelsi Darr, who was on a college recruiting visit, Gott spent much of her day watching the action from the 10-yard line as her Lady Tigers cruised to a 3-0 victory against Austin LBJ.
"It's not just standing around," said Gott, seeing her first extended time after three shoulder surgeries. "You can see the whole field versus say a forward who has the ball. You can let me know in advance before they even have to look where to play the ball."
So Gott helped direct a Lady Tiger unit that features plenty of offensive firepower, but continues to grow defensively. Belton (4-0) graduated its top defenders, including last season's District 12-5A Defensive Most Valuable Player (Taylor Pressley).
But the Lady Tigers still posted three shutouts and capped a two-day tournament run where they outscored their opponents 25-1.
"Scoring goals is something we kind of expected, so we spent a lot of December and preseason really working on the defensive shape and our team as a unit," Belton head coach Barry Elkins said.
In the semifinals, Belton stomped a mud hole in Leander Rouse.
With the weather worsening throughout the day, field conditions played a significant factor at Ellison as the Lady Tigers possessed the ball for the majority of the first half and defeated the Lady Raiders 5-0. By the time Rouse finally wrangled away any time of possession in the second half, the field was a muddy mess.
Belton (2-0) opened pool play with a 6-0 win Friday over Harker Heights thanks to two goals and an assist from Jourdan Brown. Then they hammered Austin Akins 8-1 off three goals and an assist by Hadley Young to advance to Saturday's semifinal.
Meanwhile, the Lady Knights took second place in the red bracket after defeating Akins 4-0 and plays Shoemaker, who lost to Rouse 5-0 and defeated Pflugerville Connally 1-1 (3-2) in a shootout, at 9 a.m. at home.
The Lady Knights led 1-0 at half on a goal by Rachel Varley. Ten minutes into the second, Megauley Marin scored to go up 2-0, with Samantha Hammonds and Jordan Ecker also contributing goals.
Nathali Perez's header with two seconds left in regulation ricocheted off the Harker Heights' crossbar, bouncing away as the final horn sounded at Leo Buckley Stadium to give the Lady Knights a 1-0 win in the Killeen ISD Centex Shootout consolation championship game.
"Monday, we work on corner kicks, I guess," Heights coach Royce Mitchel joked afterward. "... I'm just glad that she missed."
The lone goal was actually an own goal near the end of the first half. Heights was in control, getting its fourth corner kick with just under seven minutes to play.
The Lady Knights (3-1) played the corner short, setting up Magaly Marin, who sent the ball in front of Killeen's goal. La Tia Blue tried to knock it down, but the ball bounced back toward the Lady Roo net and past goalkeeper Raquera Rivas.
Area all-tournament team members
Magaly Marin, Sr., MF
Sidney Journey, Sr., F
Natalie Requenez, So., D
Sarah Marquardt, Sr., MF
Jourdan Brown, Sr., MF
Hadley Young, Jr., F
Alex Burke, Sr., D
Riccaj Joslin, Sr., D
Natasha Garcia, Sr., D
Jade Rodriguez, Sr., MF
Raquera Rivas, Sr., G
Madi Woodard, Fr., F
Katie Granados, So., G
Tiffany Drake, Sr., D
Ashley Morelos, Jr., G
Arantza Trejo, Sr., F
Annjelicia Estrada, Jr., D
Shelbie Letzer, Fr., MF
Shelby Campbell, Sr., F
Alyson Sinclair, Jr., MF