GATESVILLE — The game lasted 80 minutes, but it took Lampasas less than 90 seconds to gain complete control.
After claiming an immediate 1-0 lead, the Lady Badgers blew the match wide open, scoring three goals in a span of 89 seconds en route to a lopsided victory against Waco Connally in their playoff opener.
According to Lampasas senior Maria Salinas, who scored two of the Lady Badgers’ three goals during the early outburst, the offensive explosion was stunning.
“That was a record,” she said. “We were all really excited. We were shocked we scored so many goals in that amount of time. … I just wanted to keep it going. In my head, I was just thinking, ‘Go! Go! Go, and keep going!’”
And the Lady Badgers did just that.
Lampasas scored 10 unanswered goals to open the match, cruising to a 10-1 win to advance to the Region III-4A area round against Nacogdoches later this week.
Like Salinas, Lady Badgers head coach Tracy Brantley was surprised by the rapid-fire scoring early, but it produced the reactions she desired.
“They definitely showed up in the beginning, and that’s what I wanted from them — some quick goals to put us up,” she said. “Well, then they started doing too much, and I had to tell them to slow down. But they get so excited, and that’s what they need to do. They need to get excited about winning and scoring and the sport in general.”
Lampasas dominated the first half, scoring seven unanswered goals to open the match, with the first occurring less than four minutes after kickoff.
Caitlyn Shaughnessy got things going by scoring on a deflection off the Connally goalkeeper before Salinas produced consecutive goals in the span of 70 seconds.
But the Lady Badgers were just getting going.
A mere 18 seconds after Salinas scored for the second time, Shaughnessy delivered her second goal of the game on a breakaway down the sideline to complete the three-goal eruption.
“I feel like once we got that momentum, we just kept on going,” the junior said. “I just wanted to keep on going and run up the score a bit.”
The score held for the next eight minutes until a miscue by the Lady Cadets led to an own goal, giving Lampasas a 5-0 advantage less than midway through the first half.
Then junior Qadrey Tolliver posted a goal and freshman Veronica Aguirre just beat the buzzer, scoring the Lady Badgers’ seventh goal with five seconds remaining until halftime.
Following intermission, Lampasas picked up exactly where it left off as Bailey Hilgenberg sent a deep shot soaring into the net with only 36 seconds expiring off the clock.
“We’ve been on the other side of 10-0 matches, so I wanted to slow it down,” Brantley said “But I also can’t get mad at them for slowing it down and then having the opportunity just presenting itself.”
Defending District 34-4A MVP Analise Watson posted a goal seven minutes later to push the Lady Badgers’ lead to 9-0, and junior Sam Nunnery recorded Lampasas’ 10th goal before the Lady Cadets ended the shutout by scoring with 1:13 remaining in the match.
In a contest Brantley described as “amazing,” it was the only aspect she could complain about.
“They get to do sprints for every goal against, so they are going to be on the line tomorrow,” Brantley said. “It is definitely something to work on because that was one of our goals — to have no goals against.”
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org