By Angel Verdejo
The Cove Herald
Copperas Cove's girls soccer team gave itself a chance, playing through a scoreless first half, but the momentum finally shifted in the second. Tyler Lee picked up its first goal early in the second half, then added another late off a corner kick to win the Class 5A bi-district playoff.
Cove (12-10-2), which qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2001, had chances, head coach Hagan Streckel said, but couldn't finish.
"We did much better than we expected," Streckel said of the year. "We had a young team and thought we'd have to spend much of the year maturing. What we ended up doing is maturing along with winning."
The close loss also showed much the Lady Dawgs improve this season - Tyler Lee routed Cove 7-1 earlier in the year. Both teams had just two shots on goal in the first half, before Tyler Lee broke through in the second.
Lady Dawgs 6, Harker Heights 0 (last Friday) - At Copperas Cove, the host Lady Dawgs scored three goals in the final 15 minutes of the first half, added three more in the second half and beat the Lady Knights to clinch District 12-5A's fourth playoff.
Cove got goals from Shelbie Letzer, Alyson Sinclair and Kristen Grant in the first half, with Grant's goal, on an assist from Cheyenne Huereque, giving Cove a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Letzer, Sinclair and Genesis Rivera found the back of the net for the Lady Bulldawgs' three second-half goals.
Huereque assisted Letzer's second goal of the night then scored on Rivera's assist to give Cove a 5-0 lead and then scored the final goal on a Shelby Campbell assist.
Harker Heights 2, Bulldawgs 0 (last Friday) - Tyler Moffett-Matheson was cleared to play one day before the regular-season finale. And with a cast on his right arm, the Harker Heights senior made up for lost time, assisting on the Knights' first goal and scoring the second. Heights beat Copperas Cove 2-0 at Leo Buckley Stadium and head into the playoffs for the eighth time in 11 years. Moffett found Andrew Acosta, who broke the scoreless tie with 12:15 to play. Moffett added the insurance goal two minutes later. Cove finished at 3-12-1 overall and 2-11-1 in district play.