SALADO — The seventh annual Salado Eagle Classic kicked off Thursday afternoon with Copperas Cove taking a last-second 1-0 loss against Pleasanton.
“I told them this was going to be a tough one,” Lady Bulldawgs assistant coach Chelsea Letzer-Spoor said of preparing her team, “and this team was pretty evenly matched with us,”
The first half saw multiple scoring attempts from the Lady Bulldawgs, but Pleasanton goalkeeper Winter Baumann came up to stop them every time.
Copperas Cove couldn’t get anything past Baumann in the first half, but four saves from Lady Bulldawgs junior goalkeeper Kaijah Lamkin kept them even 0-0 at halftime.
“She was a smart keeper, she played high,” Letzer-Spoor said of Braumann after the game. “We talked at halftime about how to beat a keeper that plays high like that.
“When we had our opportunities to score, we didn’t, so that’s what happens.”
Copperas Cove started the second half with sophomore Haven Stevenson attempting to score before Eagles defender Sofia Rivera caught up to cut to her off.
Pleasanton looked to draw Lamkin out of the net throughout the half, but each time she came forward, a Lady Bulldawg defender would drop in.
Copperas Cove sophomore forward Adora Lumpkin came within the goal eight times. Each time Baumann came forward to grab the ball and kill her momentum before she could get a shot, though.
Early in the half, Lamkin ran out to the right side of the goal box to pick up the ball, but Pleasanton’s Delanee Olivarri was able to draw the ball back out.
She launched a shot toward the empty net, but it flew high, bouncing off the top of the goal post.
In the 46th minute, Lumpkin dribbled past defenders down the right line to the excitement of the Lady Bulldawgs’ bench. She kicked the ball, but it carried far right.
Lumpkin attempted once more for a goal in the 56th minute of the match, dribbling left before Rivera cut her off. Lumpkin recovered the ball, dribbling closer and delivered a hard kick that soared over the net.
The Lady Bulldawgs were looking to end the match in a draw in the final minute as Lamkin came forward out of the net to stop an attempt from the Eagles’ Madelyn Bird, who kicked at the open net, but Copperas Cove senior defender Ariana Wilson filled in and stopped the ball.
Seconds later, Renata Osorio found her way around Lady Bulldawgs defenders after they drew Lamkin out and kicked one into the net with only ten seconds remaining on the clock, giving Pleasanton the 1-0 victory.
“They played hard, they fought and they never gave up so,” Letzer-Spoor said of Copperas Cove’s game.
With District 8-6A play starting Tuesday, the tournament is the last chance for the Lady Bulldawgs to polish their strategy.
“We work everyday on certain things that we’re not strong at in the game,” Letzer-Spoor said. “We’ve been working a lot on our defensive shape, trying to play our wings out wide, trying to put goals in the back of the net, but it just didn’t happen for us today.
“I think the girls played hard, they never gave up, they did what we asked them to, but just sometimes, it doesn’t go your way.”