On Friday, May 22, Leesville Women’s Soccer fell victim to a classic cinderella story and lost to Athens Drive by a score of 1-0 at home.
The 24 seeded Jaguars came into the game with lots of momentum, having just come off of a big road win and having an even taller task, playing on the road at 4 seed Leesville Road. Thanks to a huge goal by Karlee Evancho with just under 13 minutes let in the game, the Jaguars will be carrying that momentum a round further.
The Pride haven’t been a team known for scoring tons of goals, and that storyline held true in this matchup as well. In the first half, the Pride dominated possession. As a result they were able to get lots of crosses but no finishes on the other end. With about 10 minutes left in the first half, Hanna Arostegui had a shot that almost everyone thought was in, but it went just over the bar and the score remained 0-0.
Exactly 5 minutes later, forward Jordan Mosley was handed a perfect cross in the box but fired a wide open header right into the keeper for an easy save. The half ended tied 0-0, but it could have easily been 2-0 in favor of the Pride.
The second half was much of the same for both teams, with Leesville holding possession around 70% of the time. Usually teams feel comfortable with that number, but this game was an exception. With 13:00 left, all it took was one counterattack and a perfect run by Evancho to net a goal that would prove to be the winner for Athens Drive. Mosley had one last chance with seconds to go, but the gorgeous shot went just over the crossbar. After the game, Pride senior Brenna O’Brien expressed her disappointment.
“We played great as a team and I could not have asked for more from my teammates,” said O’Brien. “We controlled the match and time of possession, so to come out on the losing end was disappointing. Athens is on an amazing run, so we knew we would have to work for it.”
The loss at home was the first loss there all season for the Pride, and it would prove to be their only and last loss as well. For Athens Drive, they will go on to play Middle Creek, a fellow SWAC team, after they beat Panther Creek Saturday in a PK shootout. Ironically, Athens Drive will be the higher seeded out of the two teams. Yes, that’s correct, the fifth round of state playoffs will feature a 24 seed and a 26 seed.
For Brenna O’Brien and the rest of her seniors, despite the loss, it was still a season to remember.
“This has been an amazing season, but realizing I will no longer dress out for the Pride makes me sad. It’s been great to represent our school and be part of some terrific teams the past four years.”