Girls soccer: Ryan falls to Lewisville

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Ryan defender Haley Grizzafi, right, winces as the ball heads for her head after a kick by Lewisville’s Sydney Priest during Friday’s match at Ryan.
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There weren’t many scoring chances to speak of in Friday night’s District 5-5A game between Ryan and visiting Lewisville.

Lewisville capitalized on one of the few opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, and Ryan was unable to find the equalizing goal and lost to Lewisville 1-0. Ryan remains winless in district play dating back to 2012, when the Lady Raiders were in Class 4A.

For the fifth time in district play, the Lady Raiders lost by a 1-0 margin.

“It’s really the theme of the year,” Ryan head coach Brian Beddow said. “It’s a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities when you have them, and it only takes one, just like that. The games that we’ve scored goals, we’ve taken advantage of our opportunities, and in games like tonight, we didn’t.”

For most of the first half, Ryan controlled possession and flirted with the attacking third of the field near the Lewisville penalty box. But then in the 28th minute, Lewisville (2-4-2 district) earned a corner kick.

Lewisville senior defender Taylor Garrison stepped up and swung the ball into Ryan’s penalty box as senior forward Sydney Priest was sprinting towards the near post. Priest got on the end of Garrison’s cross and volleyed the ball into the back of the net.

Ryan junior forward Carissa Sanders battled at the top of the field along with senior forward Kat Knabe, but the Lady Raiders were unable to find a quality scoring opportunity.

“We can possess the ball really well, and we’ve improved immensely from last year, but it’s hard because once we get to a certain point, it’s like we can’t find the forwards sometimes,” Knabe said. “It’s a little gap between the midfielders and the forwards.”

Ryan’s best shot on goal was a direct free kick that was fired right at Lewisville senior goalkeeper Callie Eagan. Eagan didn’t give the Lady Raiders (8-9-2, 0-7-1 district) a chance to pounce on a rebound. Ryan junior defender Rachel Hines almost curled a shot inside the far post, but the ball skimmed just wide of the right post.

Last season, the Lady Raiders did not score in its winless 5-5A season. This year, Ryan earned a 3-3 tie against Flower Mound and scored twice in a 6-2 loss to Hebron.

Ryan has games against Coppell and Flower Mound and while the playoffs are out of the picture, Knabe expects the squad to give full effort in the final two games.

Beddow, who’s in his first year at Ryan, said he hopes this year has been a learning experience for him and the squad for next year. But there’s still plenty of time between now and the offseason.

“Certainly we’re not done,” Beddow said. “We have games to play, and we’re going to play as hard as we can.”

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.

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