LEAGUE CITY – The Clear Springs girls soccer team had a windy and wet but welcome start to the playoffs Thursday.
Christina Hidalgo and Kirsten Zamarripa netted second-half goals to lead the Chargers past Fort Bend Kempner, 2-0, in the first round of the Class 5A postseason.
“I don’t expect any easy games in the playoffs,”Clear Springs head coach Craig Foster said. “It was difficult out there, not just because of the rain, but the strong wind. It was nil-nil at halftime, then we got the wind in our favor in the second half and things started to come together.”
Hidalgo put the Chargers on the scoreboard quickly following the break, scoring five minutes after play resumed on an assist from Jessica Jones.
About 10 minutes later, Jones helped give Clear Springs some breathing room with an assist on Zamarripa’s score that put the team ahead, 2-0.
“We had a good start to the second half,” Foster said. “After we got up two goals, (Kempner) made some changes and became more aggressive. It actually gave us more opportunities to score, but we just couldn’t convert.”
Keeper Anna Hughes finished with a clean slate. It was the seventh straight shutout for the Chargers.
This season marked the first district championship for the Clear Springs girls soccer team even with only four starters back from last year’s squad that won three postseason games en route to the regional semifinals.
“It’s been a bit of a rebuilding year, but it’s funny how things worked out,” Foster said. “You never know what to expect. They’ve really tightened up defensively, and we want to continue that as we go in the playoffs.”
The Chargers play again next week against the winner between District 21-5A runner-up North Shore and District 22-5A third-place finisher Alvin. Those teams play at 7 p.m. today in Alvin.
Soccer playoff schedule
Girls games today
4A: Goose Creek Memorial at Texas City, 7 p.m.
5A: Clear Falls at Fort Bend Travis, 7 p.m.
4A: Santa Fe vs. Kingwood Park at Galena Park ISD Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Boys games today
4A: Friendswood vs. Stratford, at Hall Stadium in Missouri City, 7 p.m.
5A: Fort Bend Clements at Clear Springs, 7 p.m.
5A: Clear Falls vs. Fort Bend Austin at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land, 8 p.m.