52° F Monday, April 24, 2017

In a long season saturated with injuries throughout, the Lake Travis girls soccer team went out fighting in a 5-0 loss to Hendrickson in the bidistrict playoffs Thursday at House Park.

The Lady Cavaliers came out a little flat-footed, and the Lady Hawks took advantage with three goals in a six-minute span in the first half to all but put the game away.

Spurred on by senior Kelli McCalla, the team continued to battle and urge each other on despite the score.

“To the last minute I kept telling them every second counts, every minute counts,” McCalla said. “Being a senior, I wanted to play as hard as I can until I’m on the field just exhausted.”

Lake Travis played without forward Aubri Detmer and goalie Nikki Goodwin, who were both injured leading up to the playoff match. Detmer broke her leg and Goodwin suffered a broken hand, adding to the list of injuries accumulated by the Lady Cavs this season.

“We have a lot of injured players, recently, so it was difficult to come out and really fight for it,” senior Allie Stone said. “I know we all fought our hardest, it just sucks we lost. This is definitely, out of the three years I’ve been part of this program, this is my favorite team. We all get along really well and fight really hard together as a team and at the end of the day; I can always count on them.”

Still, the young squad pushed on and tried to catch the Lady Hawks off guard, but Tyane Ramos and Makaela Harvey were too much to handle. Ramos notched four goals in the win and Harvey, who consistently streaked past defenders with nifty ball handling, had two assists.

“I think early on in the first 20 minutes we didn’t fight enough,” Lake Travis coach Jeff Gamble said. “That was a game in the second half … We played with a lot of pride in the second half.”

Hendrickson added a fourth goal with just 1:18 left in the first half, deflating the Lady Cavs chances at a comeback in the second half. The final score came with 17:44 left to play in the match on Ramos’ fourth score.

Jacqueline Emerson nearly tallied a goal with 5:10 left in the first half, booting the ball from 40 yards out and nearly tucking it under the cross bar, but it was barely high and scooted off the bar and over.

Kaitlyn Troubridge also had a good look from the left side 10 minutes into the second half but couldn’t sneak it past the goalie on a rifled shot. She also had a breakaway with 6:40 left to play but was again stymied at the goal.

Hendrickson eliminated Lake Travis last season in Class 4A, and the Lady Cavs had a rough go of it in Class 5A this season, finishing 9-10-3.

“We knew it was going to be a tough battle,” Stone said. “All day all we’ve been thinking about is this game and getting redemption. At the end of the day they were just a better team.”

With a lot of turnover from last year’s team, it was a process as the team got acclimated against formidable foes in the predistrict and District 15-5A season.

“It was a process working toward this moment,” McCalla said. “We fought our way through the season, we had a really tough preseason. We were beaten down, but we kept fighting through the whole season. We got here but, unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to push us through.”

The team will graduate seniors Becca Daves, Stone, Hayley Miesse, Katie Eaton, Detmer and McCalla.

“It’s the worst part of my job (seeing off the senior class),” Gamble said. “You’re with them since they’re 14 year olds. You go through all this for four years together and then they just go away. It’s tough, it’s like part of your family going away. It’s hard.”

Both Stone and McCalla called this their favorite group to play with.

“I learned so much from them, each and every one of them is a great player. I love this team,” McCalla said. “We never give up, that’s our style.”

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