The Belton Lady Tigers were leading host Copperas Cove 1-0 with under four minutes left in the first half on Friday night.
“We needed another goal,” said Lady Tigers center-midfielder Jamie Brown. “We needed to keep the pressure on.”
Brown dribbled past midfield.
“At that point, I noticed their defense was all coming toward me,” she said.
Teammate Ashley Winkler was sprinting down the right sideline.
“I knew Ashley was open so I just led her downfield,” Brown said.
Brown hit Winkler in stride. Winkler dribbled forward until she was five yards in front of the end line, just a few feet from the right sideline. Winkler had scored on a 19-yard rocket less than a minute before so she immediately drew attention.
Meanwhile, Brown was sprinting straight toward the left side of Cove’s net.
“Then, all of a sudden, I see this great pass from Ashley land right at my foot,” Brown said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better pass.”
From close range Brown booted the ball into the net and Belton had a lead.
“I was right in front of the goal and so it was easy to put it away,” Brown said.
But, according to Belton head coach Wendy Knight, there was nothing easy about the play.
“Jamie did a fantastic job all the way around on that play,” Knight said. “We do a lot of different movements off the ball. Timing is so critical. Jamie gave a great feed to Ashley and then Jamie kept going — she rushed forward to the perfect spot. Ashley’s pass was great, and Jamie did a fantastic job of putting it away.”
Belton scored three more goals in the second half and defeated Cove 5-0, upping its District 8-5A record to 10-1.
This season, Belton is 14-1-3 overall and has outscored its opponents by an almost unthinkable margin of 67-2. In 18 games played, the Lady Tigers have 16 shutouts.
Brown, a junior, has scored four goals this season. Her primary duties are to feed the forwards and to make sure her goalie sees as few shots as possible.
“Jamie does an outstanding job for us,” Knight said. “Her work ethic is incredible. She simply shuts people down. She is an important part of our offensive attack, too. It’s her great passes that help us put the ball away.”
Brown has played on varsity since her freshman year. She earned all-district honorable mention honors as a frosh and second-team honors last season.
She has already committed to playing her collegiate soccer at Texas State.
In the meantime, Brown has plenty to keep her busy.
“We do want to go far in the playoffs this year,” Brown said. “We’re tied for the district lead right now (with Waco Midway) and we have two more games left (vs. Killeen and Shoemaker). And we want to finish our regular season with shutouts.”