CHINA SPRING — The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs squared off with Irving MacArthur for the first time in program history Thursday night at Cougar Stadium and lost 3-0 in the opening round of the playoffs.
The two teams were looking to keep their playoff dreams alive, as they battled for the Class 6A bi-district championship.
Coach Pat Rox and his staff made the trip to the Metroplex for the seeding game between MacArthur and Duncanville, which the Lady Cardinals won 3-0.
“They are a good team; we’re going to have to play sound ball in order to win,” Rox said. “I told the girls to go out there and have fun and I asked them to make me work hard over the Easter weekend.”
MacArthur was the aggressor from the opening kick of the game. The Lady Dawgs spent a majority of the first half reeling and were only able to get two shot attempts.
The Lady Cardinals were able to sneak behind the Cove defense and work the ball into the middle of the field, where Adriana Padilla was able to score the game’s first goal at the 28-minute mark.
“We got off to a late start and we gave up a fluke goal that stunned us a little bit,” Rox said “If we would have played the entire game the way we did in the final 20 minutes. the game might have had a different outcome.”
The second half started off badly for Cove, as MacArthur was able to net a goal on their first shot attempt.
Padilla made a quick spin move in the corner of the box and then passed it across the box to Heaven Barrera, who lifted a kick over the head of Cove goalie Kaijah Lamkin.
MacArthur maintained control of the field throughout the game and Cove wasn’t able to counter.
“MacArthur did a great job of pushing up their three forwards,” Rox said. “They were playing a 4-3-3 or a 3-4-3, we couldn’t tell all the time. The were pushing up on us and they were able to maintain numbers on the back end.”
The final blow came at the 25-minute mark, as MacArthur was able to net its third goal of the night.
The Lady Dawgs had a chance with a penalty kick with just under 12 minutes, but Kailey Walker put a little too much leg into the ball and it sailed high.
Cove (13-13) finished the game with five shots, while MacArthur (15-7-1) had 19.
The Lady Dawgs are losing four seniors — Walker, Ariana Wilson, Nicole Wilson and Ja'Nia Johnson — and the impact they’ve had in the program will be missed. They helped lead Cove to a school-record fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
“Were only losing four girls, but it feels like 40,” Rox said “We’re going to miss them. They’re great girls and they’ve been a pleasure to coach.”
The nucleus of the Lady Dawgs team is built around underclassman and seven of those are sophomores.
The future appears bright for the Lady Dawgs soccer program and they can take this playoff experience and build on it for the future.
THURSDAY'S PLAYOFF SOCCER SCORES
Boys 6A bi-district
- Irving MacArthur 2, Belton 1
Boys 4A bi-district
- Liberty 2, Gatesville 1
- Salado 3, Lampasas 1
Girls 6A bi-district
- Belton 3, Duncanville 1
- Irving MacArthur 3, Copperas Cove 0
Girls 4A bi-district
- Hardin-Jefferson 4, Gatesville 0