Salado soccer walked away as champions of the CenTex Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Eagles ended the tournament 3-0-1 and took the title with a 1-0 victory over Copperas Cove.
“They picked up where they left off with the scrimmages,” said Salado coach Michael Goos. “They played a really good tournament.”
Salado was one of just two 4A teams in the tournament and opened competition Friday with a 2-0 win over District 25-6A Del Valle before facing the Ellison Lady Eagles.
Salado and Ellison played to a 2-2 draw, later Thursday.
“Ellison gave us all we could handle,” Goos said. “But to be able to beat a team like Cove and come out on top in a tournament like this is huge for us.
“It’s propelling us heading toward district.”
The two-day tournament is usually hosted by all four Killeen Independent School District teams and was initially scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Heavy rain earlier in the week caused some last-minute changes.
The changes included matches that consisted of 15 minutes halves with a one-minute halftime.
“I spent a full day on at my computer, on the phone, texting and emailing, setting up three different schedules,” said Killeen coach Richard Romeo. “It’s not a perfect solution. It was the only way we could get 16 games, two games per team, in a day without staying here all day.”
With area fields flooded, the tournament hosted all 16 schools at Leo Buckley Stadium — the only local artificial turf field.
“It was one of those things where we were kind of anticipating what was going to happen,” said Shoemaker coach Central Hicks. “We weren’t sure what it was going to be, but we knew there were going to be some changes.
“We talked to the girls beforehand because we know how bad it was raining on Wednesday and Thursday, but as a player you have to be able and ready to make those adjustments on the fly. So I was glad that we were able to get the games in.”
“We just had to change the way we approach the game with them being shortened like that,” Goos said. “But Killeen did a great job of still putting on the tournament.
“I was worried it was going to be cancelled altogether, and I didn’t want that, and I know my girls wanted to play.”
Added Hicks: “I told coach Romeo, I called him up later on, and I was like, ‘Man, you pulled it off. I don’t know how you did this but congratulations.’”
Ellison opened the tournament in the Green bracket with a 2-0 win over Georgetown Gateway. The Lady Eagles took second place in the Green bracket with a Saturday morning scoreless draw against Del Valle and faced off with Manor in the afternoon.
“Offensively, we’re doing amazing,” said Ellison coach Rebecca Mayse. “We have so many midfielders that go in and out that work well together and we have lots of offense that can do good things up top to score some goals.
“I do think we need to work on our communication though.”
Manor got past Crystal Rodriguez in the 11th minute and the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead over Ellison before the half.
Rodriguez kept Manor off the board the remainder of the game with two saves in the second half, but the Lady Eagles couldn’t answer.
“We had some critical people not here because of the switches of the days,” Mayse noted. “So that kind of stunk with our defense, but we just have to work some kinks out.
“But I thought we showed out really well.”
Manor took a 2-0 win over Shoemaker to open up Blue bracket play Friday before the Lady Grey Wolves fell 1-0 to China Spring.
The Lady Wolves fell 1-0 to Copperas Cove to start the second day of competition and ended the tournament with a match against Gateway.
It was a scoreless game at the half as Shoemaker goalkeeper Dekiah Parson had four saves.
Kimberly Liker scored for the Lady Wolves in the 21st minute, leading Shoemaker to the 1-0 victory to close out tournament play.
For Hicks, the weekend was beneficial in showing his team their potential.
“They can play, and they can play together,” he said.
Copperas Cove took a morning 2-0 win over China Spring before ending the first day of competition in a scoreless draw against Manor.
With an early win Friday, the Lady Bulldawgs took first place in the Blue bracket but couldn’t get past Salado goalie Avery Wright and finished the tournament in second place with a 2-1-1 record.
Harker Heights opened Day 1 with a 1-0 loss against Round Rock Stony Point in the Red bracket but ended the day with a 2-0 win over Austin Hyde Park.
The Lady Knights’ faced Pflugerville Connally in their final matchup of pool play Saturday afternoon.
Heights goalkeeper Brooke Frierson had five saves and Dominique Marroquin put Heights on the board with a goal in the 12th minute.
Raquel Hatton quickly followed suit with a score in the 13th minute to give the Lady Knights a 2-0 lead.
After the brief halftime break, Linda Luster got things going again for Heights with a goal of her own in the 16th minute and the Lady Knights took a 3-0 victory over the Cougars.
“It’s about just improving, figuring out things we did well and expanding on those things,” said first-year Heights coach Matthew Evans. “But we also have to figure out those areas we need to improve, so every day it’s just part of the process.
“We’ll take a look at the film and see what we did great against Pflugerville Connally — which was a fantastic team, very very physical — and then we’ll just come back to the last game today and figure out what we have to get better at.”
The win had the Lady Knights at 2-1 on the weekend they were second in the Red bracket.
Heights concluded tournament play with a 1-0 win over Sam Houston on Saturday night to close out all tournament play for the area teams.
The Lady Knights had a scoreless first half against the Hurricanes, but Briahna Henry sent one over the Sam Houston goalie into the top left corner in the 17th minute.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Evans said. “Getting better each and every day,”
Killeen started the tournament with a 1-0 loss against Robinson and fell 2-0 to San Antonio Sam Houston to conclude the first day of play in the Maroon bracket.
The Lady Roos couldn’t find a way to stop Pflugerville Hendrickson in the morning as they started the second day of play with a 1-0 loss.
The Lady Roos concluded tournament play with a matchup against Hyde Park.
“Senior Brianna Lemonier, she had her best game this year,” Romeo said.
Despite the strong performance from Lemonier, Killeen fell 1-0 to the Panthers.
With a large nine-team district schedule ahead, Romeo took the weekend to learn areas his young team needs to improve before 12-6A play begins Jan. 15.
“I graduated 12 seniors from last year,” Romeo said. “I have, for the first time ever, five or six freshmen — unfortunately, one got hurt in our scrimmage. She couldn’t play.
“I’ve never had this many young players.”
KISD CENTEX TOURNAMENT
- China Spring 1, Shoemaker 0
- Copperas Cove 2, China Spring 0
- Copperas Cove 0, Manor 0, tie
- Ellison 2, Georgetown Gateway 0
- Harker Heights 2, Austin Hyde Park 0
- Manor 2, Shoemaker 0
- Robinson 1, Killeen 0
- Round Rock Stony Point 1, Harker Heights 0
- Salado 2, Del Valle 0
- Salado 2, Ellison 2, tie
- SA Sam Houston 2, Killeen 0
- Austin Hyde Park 1, Killeen 0
- Copperas Cove 1, Shoemaker 0
- Ellison 0, Del Valle 0, tie
- Harker Heights 3, Pflugerville Connally 0
- Harker Heights 1, SA Sam Houston 0
- Manor 1, Ellison 0
- Pflugerville Hendrickson 1, Killeen 0
- Salado 1, Copperas Cove 0
- Shoemaker 1, Georgetown Gateway 0