MEXIA — The Hornets wasted no time securing a bi-district championship.

Gatesville’s Thoms sisters — Natasha and Katrina — each scored as 17-4A’s No. 3 seed shut out Madisonville, the No. 2 seed from 18-4A, 4-0 on Friday at Mexia High School.

“We’re still here,” said midfielder Natasha Thoms. “We’re living again.”

The Hornets made the most of their fifth consecutive appearance in the playoffs.

“They just continue to progress,” said Hornets head coach Scott Campbell. “From just practical skills to tactical, now we can tie in the skills and they’re a little bit more dangerous team.

“And that was a direct result of why we got three penalty kicks tonight.”

Thoms fought her way down the left side of the field and sent the ball flying into the top left corner of the net out of reach of Madisonville goalie Brianna Abad in the 10th minute.

“It was exciting,” said the Gatesville freshman of notching the first point for her team. “I knew after that that we were going to get more.

“We just stayed humble, settled down and stayed in it.”

Later, junior Katrina Thoms ran up the middle looking to get her own goal for the Hornets.

“I needed one,” said Katrina of the competitive sibling mindset she had after her younger sister scored first. “No way she gets a goal and I don’t get one.”

A foul in the 28th minute by Abad set up Katrina for a penalty kick.

“I take PKs so I wasn’t extremely nervous,” Katrina noted. “But (the official) told me, ‘I’ll let you choose where you want the ball.’ And then he looked at the goalie and then pointed back at me.

“That’s when the nerves set in and I was trying to figure out which corner do I want?”

Despite the nervous energy, Katrina Thoms sent the ball into the top right corner of the net to give Gatesville a 2-0 lead that held until halftime.

The Thoms sisters combined for seven shots on goal throughout the second half but Abad stopped each of them.

In the 67th minute, Mikala Bryson stole the ball and ran down the middle ahead of the Mustang defenders. Bryson reached the top of the penalty box and took a shot on goal before colliding with Abad.

A yellow card was given to Abad which forced the Mustangs’ backup goalkeeper Brinna Sims to defend the net.

Molly Hogan took the penalty kick as Bryson was injured on the play.

“Coach had told us how the two goalies played,” Hogan noted. “So I knew where to beat her.

“When they switched out I knew it was the other goalie and I knew that I just had to play different and get on the ground.”

Knowing exactly where to kick, the Hornets junior sent the ball into the bottom right corner of the net to extend Gatesville’s lead to 3-0.

“It was a yellow card because she made no play on the ball and grabbed the player,” Campbell explained. “So I actually wanted the backup keeper in.

“Roll the dice and see if she could make a save coming off the bench.”

The gamble paid off and Abad returned as goalie for Madisonville on the next play and totaled 12 stops in the game.

A third foul in the penalty box was called in the 79th minute and set up junior Kaity Ferguson for the final penalty kick of the game.

“As you can tell, anyone can take penalty kicks not just one person,” Ferguson said. “We rely on our whole team, so it was a good feeling to get one in the last minute and end it off like that.”

The Hornets improved to 13-5-2 overall and advanced to face Henderson (22-5-2) in the area round Monday or Tuesday.

“Like I told them,” said Campbell, “we got more free soccer.”

BOYS SOCCER PLAYOFFS

Class 6A bi-district

  • Belton 1, Rockwall-Heath 0

Class 4A bi-district

  • Palestine 8, Gatesville 1

GIRLS SOCCER PLAYOFFS

Class 6A bi-district

  • Rockwall-Heath 6, Ellison 0

Class 4A bi-district

  • Boerne 9, Lampasas 0
  • Gatesville 4, Madisonville 0

fcardenas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7562

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