FRIENDSWOOD – While it wasn’t their best performance of the season, the Lady Mustangs will gladly take Thursday night’s win as they advanced to the Class 4A, Region III quarterfinals.
After a scoreless regulation, Jamie McCullough’s score in the shootout lifted Friendswood past upset-minded Stratford in Thursday’s area-round match, as the Lady Mustangs outscored the Lady Spartans, 4-2.
Friendswood, which will play the winner of tonight’s Goose Creek Memorial vs. Texas City match, had chances to win the game in both regulation and overtime, yet were unable to cash in on their opportunities against Stratford goalie Martha Kuhn.
“We’ve talked all season about creating chances, and we were creating them,” Lady Mustangs coach Laura Peter said. “We just weren’t finishing them, which was frustrating.”
The Lady Mustangs were able to dominate the offensive pace for much of the second half, yet the ability to snap the deadlock constantly fell short against a determined Stratford defense that was able to withstand the pressure.
Forward Alex Frankhouser had two chances in the final seven minutes of regulation; her first shot, a header, just missed, while the second failed after a huge stop from Kuhn.
Lexi Hudson and Selina Vickery scored the first two goals in the shootout, but the Lady Spartans countered with a pair of their own.
Rachel Troung gave Friendswood the edge with her goal, as Lady Mustangs net minder Klaryssa Heussman made her second stop to set the stage for McCullough’s decisive shot.
“I told them going in, ‘Let’s make them so our fifth shooter doesn’t have to shoot,’” Peter said.
“I feel like we’re playing great,” Friendswood midfielder Zoe Cole said. “We fight, but we get through it. We leave it all on the field.”
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.