AC Athletics/Gary Stallard
LUFKIN, TX (Press Release)- The fledgling program up against the established powerhouse.
Thursday's Region XIV Conference Tournament semifinal soccer match between the home team Tyler College Lady Apaches – ranked No. 7 in the most recent national polls – and the upstart Angelina College Lady Roadrunners would appear on a paper a mere formality. The high-powered Lady Apaches rolled through the regular season, averaging 5.22 goals per game while compiling a 15-2-1, 9-1 record.
That lone conference loss, however, occurred against Navarro College – the same team the Lady 'Runners held to a single goal in Saturday's 1-0 loss. In that contest, AC showed a level of defensive prowess good enough to beat good teams. Save for a spectacular, perfect kick creating a goal late in the contest, the Lady Bulldogs couldn't penetrate the Lady 'Runner back line.
Of course, playing defensively means fewer opportunities for the offense; nevertheless, the Lady Roadrunners had a couple of near-miss shots against Navarro. Such is soccer: A break here and there on Saturday, and the outcome might have been different.
AC's ladies will need the same approach – and can-do attitude – against the Lady Apaches in order to create those breaks and, hopefully, to reach the conference championship game.
Angelina College's first-year program has already been a surprise simply by qualifying for the post-season.
The Lady Roadrunners are hoping the surprise party continues on Thursday.