The first tournament of the regular season may seem too early for a team to be looking for payback, but that was one of the themes for the Killeen Lady Kangaroos during the Centex Tournament.
Earlier in the week, the Robinson Lady Rockets beat Killeen by five goals during a scrimmage and the Lady Roos were ready for a better defensive showing.
Behind a stubborn defense, the Lady Roos played to a scoreless regulation tie on Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium. “I think we did a lot of really great things,” senior midfielder Kaitlyn McVeigh said. “I think we came out here with a lot more confidence than we did the other day.”
Killeen goalkeeper Chrissy Bowling was in net for the shutout as the Killeen (1-2-1) defense allowed only three shots on goal in regulation.
Because of tournament seeding, the game went into a shootout that Robinson won 4-2.
On Tuesday the Lady Rockets (1-2-1) shut out Killeen 5-0 in a preseason scrimmage.
“Nobody wants to lose that bad and coming back out here we could prove to them that we’re not as bad as they thought we were and we can really do it,” junior midfielder Alexyss Capestany said.
Even though the Lady Roos (1-2-1) began the season with a team that graduated 11 seniors and had another four players move, the intensity was still there.
“That 5-0 didn’t display our level of play,” senior defender and midfielder Angelina Arreaga said. “I knew that we could compete.”
The Lady Roo defense helped clear out six of eight Lady Rockets corner kick attempts with the other two opportunities resulting in shots that went wide.
Defense was a big key for a Killeen team playing its fourth tournament game in two days with an offense that struggled.
The Lady Roos didn’t manage a shot on goal the entire match. Killeen’s attack got the ball inside the Robinson penalty box just three times during the 60-minute match.
“We’ve been working from Day 1,” Killeen coach Richard Romeo said. “I like the style that the girls play. We might not be as skilled as the other teams, but they’re doing some higher level things in the defense where they’re not just booting it out and clearing it.”
Killeen was shut out by Pflugerville Connally 4-0 earlier in the day.
Against Robinson, the Lady Roos had their best scoring chance in the first five minutes of the match on a corner kick that Robinson cleared out.
The Lady Rocket quartet of Kali Branch, Aubrey Jurek, Jesse Jaymes and Tayler Dodd connected on all four shootout opportunities.
Arreaga scored Killeen’s first goal of the shootout that tied it at one goal apiece and Alyssa Williams followed with another score that cut Robinson’s lead to 3-2.
McVeigh and Arreaga were named to the all-tournament team.
The Lady Roos host the Lampasas Lady Badgers on Tuesday.