A costly mistake and a couple missed chances saw Friendswood come up short against District 24-6A leader Clear Lake in a 2-1 loss Saturday afternoon.
“I don’t really think that we played our smartest game,” Friendswood head coach Laura Peter said. “I think we let the quick pace of the game take us mentally out of the game a little bit — trying to force it forward when we should’ve held it a little longer, not connecting enough passes.”
In the first half, Friendswood was held scoreless as the Lady Mustangs battled both a stingy Falcons defense and a stiff wind.
Clear Lake got onto the scoreboard early, as senior forward Kennedy Woolweaver broke through Friendswood’s defense and booted a ball to the back of the net in the match’s 4th minute.
In the 11th minute, the Lady Mustangs missed an opportunity to be awarded a penalty kick on what appeared to be a Clear Lake handball in the box that was not caught by the officials.
Falcons freshman goal keeper Sarah Grimmett slapped away a shot on goal by Friendswood sophomore forward Olivia Rhodes in the first half’s 30th minute for an outstanding leaping save to keep Clear Lake out in front.
About 2 minutes later, freshman defender Katie Reyes and senior defender Kori Schimming made crucial defensive stops for Friendswood on back-to-back Clear Lake runs that would have otherwise resulted in the Falcons’ attack getting one-on-one opportunities against freshman goalkeeper Amelia Hammerle.
Hammerle had four saves in the first half, including three in the final 4 minutes, against a relentless, wind-assisted Clear Lake attack to keep the Lady Mustangs in the contest.
In the second half, Clear Lake again found success early, as, in the 5th minute, a ball struck by top district scorer Mikala Smith deflected off a Lady Mustangs player for Friendswood’s first own-goal of the season.
With the wind at their backs and in an 0-2 hole, the Lady Mustangs were nearly constantly on the attack for the remainder of the match, but the Falcons defense mostly held firm.
Friendswood finally got on the scoreboard in the 14th minute of the second half when senior defender Sophie Zehentner boomed a free kick from nearly 30 yards out into the goal.
The Lady Mustangs caught a break in the 37th minute of the second half, but could not take advantage when Grimmett was ruled to have left the box on a goal kick, giving Friendswood a free kick from just 19 yards away from the goal.
This time having the wind at their backs would not be an advantage, as Lady Mustangs senior midfielder Tink Castillo’s shot at the goal sailed just inches over Clear Lake’s crossbar.
Clear Lake improves to 5-0-0 in District 24-6A play with the win. Friendswood (3-1-1) will look to rebound with another tough match 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at home against Clear Springs (4-0-1).
“We’ve lost district games before; we lost two last year and we still managed to win a district championship,” Peter said. “We still have a long way to go, and we just have to learn from this and do a better job next week against Clear Springs.”