WACO — The Belton girls soccer team quickly and convincingly ensured there would be no repeat of what happened in last year’s postseason.
Aubrey Martinez led a dominating performance, scoring two goals in Belton’s 4-1 win over Mansfield Timberview in a Class 5A bi-district playoff at Waco ISD Stadium on Thursday night.
Martinez nailed a shot from 5 yards out on a steep angle after Tarran Lisenbe set her up to open scoring in the sixth minute.
After having to leave the game briefly because she was kicked in the ribs, Martinez got her second goal in the 34th minute by chipping in a shot from 15 yards out off another Lisenbe pass to give Belton a 3-0 lead. Belton (17-1-3) had a 16-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Lady Tigers exorcised the demons of losing to Duncanville in the bi-district round last year, a bad memory that was on Martinez’s mind.
“It feels so good to get a win in the first playoff game rather than a loss,” Martinez said. “Last year was on our minds a lot.”
Belton advanced to the area round to face Euless Trinity or Flower Mound Marcus late next week, with the time and location to be determined.
Belton was in control most of the first half with an 11-1 edge in shots on goal. The Lady Tigers used precision to notch their second goal as a corner kick by Jamie Brown set up Bailee Boren’s scoring header in the 14th minute.
“Getting out to a quick start was important,” Martinez said. “We always like a fast start. I think we came out with a fire inside of us.”
The lone shot the Lady Tigers allowed in the first half was their only major mistake of the night — a long Angel Tran pass that Vanessa Blaylock converted in the 36th minute for Timberview (12-7-4).
Other than that, Belton coach Wendy Knight was pleased with her team’s defense that was anchored by defenders Jacey Love and Briana Davis. Playing a flat-four formation, the Lady Tigers limited the Lady Timberwolves’ scoring opportunities.
“We played a zone-type defense and it helped us shrink spaces quickly. Jacey and Bri did a fantastic job,” Knight said. “We talked about the goal at halftime. Our defense was too wide on that goal.”
Belton had a 5-1 edge in shots on goal in the second half, and Martinez admitted that Belton’s offense will need to be sharper in the next round than it was in the second half. The Lady Tigers concluded the scoring in the 74th minute when a sharp crossing pass by Madi Goldston was converted by Ashley Winkler’s leaping kick.
Courtney Dippel got the win in goal for Belton. Kaitlin Briggs made 12 saves for Timberview, denying Winkler twice in the first half from close range on kick saves.