By GARY STALLARD
The 2018 Angelina College Lady Roadrunners spent the entire regular season re-writing the program’s record books, including a new mark in season wins with 13. The team also made its first-ever entrance in a national poll, hitting No. 19 in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Poll.
All of which is proof the program has made great strides in its three-year history.
Now the Lady ‘Runners would love to add another milestone: Their first playoff victory.
AC will face No. 4 Navarro College Thursday in Ennis in the conference tournament semifinals. On paper, the matchup would heavily favor the Lady Bulldogs, who claimed the No. 1 spot in the nation for several weeks earlier this season.
Not so fast. Yes, the Lady Bulldogs boast an incredible defense, a unit that has allowed a mere five goals all season long. Navarro has shut out its last five opponents, including a 2-0 blanking of Angelina College on Oct. 12. Only two teams have scored more than one goal against the solid Lady Bulldog defenders.
One of those teams was the Lady Roadrunners. On September 18 in Corsicana, AC’s Bailey Bowers and Jade Dewbre found the nets in a 3-2 Lady ‘Runner loss.
In that October match, AC’s defense held its own for much of the contest, eventually allowing those two goals to the high-powered Lady Bulldogs.
The performance against a nationally ranked team clearly gave the Lady ‘Runners a confidence boost: They went on to win the final three games of the regular season, outscoring opponents 8-0 over those three matches. Jerissa Grimes (2), Jasmin Keller (2), Daisy de Boers (2), Bailey Bowers and Makayla Lewis scored those eight goals for AC. Makayla Lewis moved into third place in the league with her 10th assist, and goal keeper Aubrey Pettett, currently in second place in conference with 82 saves, helped pitch the three shutouts.
Adding a little spice to Thursday’s match: AC’s Grimes and Navarro’s Wasila Diwura and Valentina Carvajal are tied for the league lead in goals scored with 17 each.
Because of the spate of bad weather in the Corsicana area, the teams will play the match on the turf at Lion Memorial High School in Ennis. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Follow @ACAthletics on Twitter or visit the web site at angelina.prestosports.com for updates.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.