The second day of the CenTex Tournament had split results for Harker Heights, who had an early victory before falling to Liberty Hill in the championship round 1-0 on Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
The Lady Knights earned the No. 1 seed of their bracket after beating Copperas Cove 1-0 in the morning.
“I think we did a great job against Cove,” Heights head coach Sara Easum said. “A lot of that is because we’re just clicking with our passes and our communication out on the field.”
The Lady Panthers made their way to the first-place round of the bracket following a 3-0 victory over Austin Hyde Park Park.
The tournament matches were played in two 30-minute halves instead of the standard 40 minutes.
Against Heights, Liberty Hill attempted to get on the board in the 5th minute but Heights’ Brooke Frierson made her first of nine saves.
Heights fought to gain control of the ball early in the first half as Liberty Hill held possession for a majority of the opening 10 minutes.
“Definitely need to improve our first touches and being first to the ball,” Easum said. “That was probably our killer was getting beat to the ball on those 50-50 balls.”
In her second year as head coach of the Lady Knights, Easum took a lesson from her first season as she constantly sends out words of encouragement to her players throughout the matches.
“I really noticed last year that my girls really got down on themselves a lot, and when we got down on ourselves we played worse,” she said, “so this year that was one of our goals as a team, to be more encouraging to each other and I think it’s really helped us a lot.
“It’s really kept us in games.”
Kylie Bush attempted to score from the left side, but Frierson dived to stop it. As it bounced off Frierson, Bush kicked it high off the top of the goal.
Liberty Hill got on the board when Brooke Briscoe kicked one past Frierson in the 28th minute giving the Lady Panthers a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Knights came out more aggressive in the second half as Frierson ran out toward Elizabeth Perez, whose attempted shot rolled just right of the goal post.
“Play like we want it, ladies!” Easum yelled from the sidelines as Briahnna Henry stopped Piper Tabor with a steal in the right corner.
On every attempt Liberty Hill made to add to the score either Frierson was there to stop it or the Lady Panthers would kick it over the net.
Heights’ defense kept the Lady Panthers from scoring further but it wasn’t enough to stop Liberty Hill from taking first place in their division of the CenTex Tournament.
“Liberty Hill is a great team,” Easum said. “They played Salado in the playoff run last year, so playing a former playoff team was really great for my girls to only lose by one goal.
“We made some mistakes, but I think we did an awesome job keeping our head in the game, and I think a lot of that has to do with that they’ve chosen to be a lot more positive this year.”
Maddie Garrison was named to the all-tournament team for Heights, along with Henry and Frierson.
KISD CENTEX TOURNAMENT
At Leo Buckley Stadium
- Liberty Hill 3, Austin Hyde Park 0
- Manor 2, Killeen 0
- Liberty Hill 1, Harker Heights 0
- Arlington Sam Houston 3, Texarkana 0
- Waco 2, Georgetown Gateway 0
- Temple 1, Ellison 0
- Waco 1, Austin Hyde Park 1, tie
- Temple 4, Manor 2
- Salado 1, Shoemaker 0
- Arlington Sam Houston 2, Pflugerville Connally 1
- Salado 0, Copperas Cove 0, tie
At Harker Heights
- Texarkana 3, Taylor 0
- Harker Heights 1, Copperas Cove 0
- Georgetown Gateway 5, Shoemaker 0
- Killeen 0, Ellison 0, tie