By James Harper
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - With more than 20 minutes left in the match, Hagen Streckel told the scorer to stop putting goals on the scoreboard.
Shelbie Letzer's second goal gave Copperas Cove the cushion it needed and Streckel had seen enough as his Lady Dawgs beat Shoemaker 9-2 and punched their ticket to the playoffs for the second year in a row after not making it since 2003.
After receiving an early yellow card, Letzer scored the game's first goal seven minutes into the match.
"It actually motivated me to score because he took me out of the game," said Letzer, who was one of three Lady Dawgs with a hat trick against the Lady Grey Wolves. "So, when I got back in and I said, 'I should score to show that I can play even though that happened."
Cheyenne Huereque made the score 2-0 with 19 minutes left in the half after she received a center pass from senior Alyson Sinclair and chipped the ball in from just a few feet in front the goal.
"I never go into a game trying to score," Huereque said. "I play my hardest and work into the flow of the game."
Sinclair also had three goals to go with the assist to Huereque. Her first came one minute after the Lady Dawgs took a 2-0 lead. Sinclair took the ball down the right side of the field and aimed a kick at the goal that bounced off Shoemaker goalkeeper Keandra Gray, ricocheted back to Sinclair again and she bounced it in for the 3-0 lead.
Huereque added her second and third goals with 10 minutes and three minutes left in the half, respectively.
Sandwiched between Huereque's two goals, Shoemaker's (1-16-3, 0-13) Madi Woodard scored the first of her two goals with four minutes left.
Woodard's score came after she nailed the right post off a free kick. The ball bounced back to her and she kicked it off the left post, where it bounced in, closing the Cove lead to 4-1.
"Our job is to peak when we face Longview in the playoffs so (we use this and) the next game as a build." Streckel said.
The final score wasn't posted on the scoreboard, though.
"In the Longview Tournament, one of the teams was thrashing us bad but they stopped adding goals to the scoreboard," Streckel said. "I thought that was really classy."