SOUTHLAKE — It was hard to tell which team was more frustrated during Tuesday’s Class 4A Region I bi-district playoff game, Lake Dallas or Saginaw Boswell.
Boswell came in as one of the top teams in the area with just two losses but was held to two shots against a Lake Dallas team that, while struggling to score 18 goals in 23 regular-season games, boasted a stingy defense that had only given up 16 goals coming in.
The Lady Falcons pounded Boswell with nine shots on goal and controlled most of the match, but saw their season come to a close in a 1-0 loss at Dragon Stadium.
“Soccer-wise that was the best we’ve played all year; we were connecting on our passes, going forward and were dangerous,” Lake Dallas coach Mandy Hall said. “But we started flat and they [Boswell] put us away. You can’t do that in this setting.”
The Lady Pioneers (21-2) will play Wichita Falls in the area round. Lake Dallas (11-8-5) was enjoying its second straight playoff appearance but is eliminated a year after going three rounds deep.
The decisive goal came inside the first three minutes of the opening half, when Audrey Sierra crossed a pass across the mouth of the goal to teammate Rachel Herring, who lofted a shot up and over the outstretched arm of Lake Dallas keeper Ryliegh Bohnenstiehl with 37:05 to play in the half.
It was the only shot on goal allowed by Lake Dallas in the first half, though the Lady Falcons didn’t fare any better with just two shots despite keeping the ball on Boswell’s side of the field for most of the half.
The Lady Falcons continued to dominate possession as the second half got underway and applied more pressure with seven solid shots on goal, but none got past the Lady Pioneers goalkeeper Jocelyn Cain.
With 26:27 left in regulation, Corina Marin was turned away on a short-range shot when Cain — who was already on the ground — turned back to her left and cradled the ball before it could cross the line.
Cain was tested with two more solid shots on goal over the next four minutes but stopped both. With 14 seconds left, she snared a final shot attempt by Lake Dallas sophomore Kailyn Beauchamp.
“Our defense has by far been the anchor of this team all year, but it’s frustrating because we also relied on it too much this season,” Hall said. “We’ve had so many games where we’ve had wide-open chances to score, but we simply couldn’t put it away. It’s frustrating.”