BELTON — Seven games into District 12-6A competition, the Belton Lady Tigers and Waco Midway Pantherettes had each allowed a single goal during league play. On Tuesday night’s clash at Wilson-Kerzee Field, both sides gave up an opposing score in the opening 15 minutes.
The difference was Belton allowed a lone goal — Midway allowed two.
In a battle for sole possession of first place at the midpoint of district play, Belton extended its winning streak to eight games with a 3-2 win over Midway, handing the Pantherettes their first loss in league play.
Izzy Rhoades and Taylor Gurnett converted goals during the first 10 minutes of the game and Abby Cargile scored for the Lady Tigers after halftime. Abby Lucksinger and Gracen Green each allowed a goal as each worked one half in the box.
Samantha Brown accounted for both of Midway’s scores in the game.
Belton recorded 13 shots on goal and three corner kicks. Midway finished with five shots on goal and three corners.
Belton (9-4-2, 8-0) tallied the first goal of the game in the sixth minute when Rhoades scored with a header off a corner kick to put the Lady Tigers ahead early. Two minutes later, Gurnett recorded her eighth goal of district play and doubled Belton’s advantage with a breakaway score that made it 2-0 in the eighth minute.
Midway (10-3, 7-0) responded as Brown cashed in a well placed ball on a free kick that went 35 yards into the top right corner of the box to make it 2-1 in the 14th minute. Both sides mounted strong attempts to find the back netting, but the defenses held strong as Belton went into halftime with the one-goal lead.
Belton continued to keep Midway keeper Maddie Lightsey on her toes in the second half and quickly expanded upon its lead. In the 49th minute, Cargile corralled the loose ball following an errant shot and quickly nudged the ball past a diving Lightsey and scored from just in front of the box to make it 3-1.
It was Brown again, however, who inched the Pantherettes closer in the 65th minute. Midway’s free kick ricocheted off the cross bar and bounced in front of the goal, moving from player to player. Brown got the ball and rolled it past Green to make it 3-2 with 15 minutes to play.
Belton’s defense, led primarily by the back line of Sophie Elliott, Madison Farwell and Harlie Wiley, held Midway the rest of the way, leaving one team alone at the top of the standings.
Belton begins the second half of district play with Copperas Cove at home Friday. The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Bulldawgs 5-0 in their district opener.
TUESDAY'S GIRLS SOCCER
- Belton 3, Waco Midway 2
- Temple 2, Copperas Cove 0
- China Spring 1, Gatesville 0
- Burnet 5, Lampasas 1
- Jarrell 8, Florence 1
- Liberty Hill 2, Salado 0