Lady Dawgs move into third place with 4-1 win over Shoemaker

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

The Lady Dawgs needed a win to keep pace with the field and wash away the bad taste in their mouth after two tough road losses to first-place Belton and now fourth-place Bryan.
They earned that win in a 4-1 contest over the Shoemaker Lady Grey Wolves Tuesday night at Copperas Cove Bulldawg Stadium to move into third place with a 6-3-2 record and 21 points behind Belton (11-0-0, 33 pts) and Harker Heights (8-2-1, 26 pts) who both a clinched a playoff berth.
“We needed it,” girls’ head soccer coach Elizabeth Duran said after the win. “I think even for our mental, we needed this tonight just to bounce back and pull together as a team.
“We do have a couple injuries that are really hurting us right now, so to come back and get the win despite that is pretty big for us.”
The Lady Dawgs’ leading scorer with 26 goals, sophomore Emily Poste, came out firing in Tuesday’s contest with seven of 12 Lady Dawgs shots on goal in the first 20 minutes of action, but it would be fellow sophomore Emma Ross to first hit paydirt with a solo goal in the 20th minute to give the Lady Dawgs a 1-0 lead with 20:27 left in the first half.
Poste then added to their lead in the 30th minute with a goal on the assist of Ross for a 2-0 lead with 10:58 left on the clock in the first half.
A hand ball in the box penalty gave the Lady Dawgs a chance to increase their lead, but the penalty kick by Poste missed wide left.
The Lady Wolves were able to break the shutout with a solo score by Shoemaker freshman Alana Capestany with 13 seconds left in the half. 
Copperas Cove again came out firing to begin the second half with six attempts on goal in the first five minutes of play, but it would be another hand ball in the box that would push their lead to two goals when Ross buried  the penalty kick in the back right for a 3-1 lead in the 61st minute. 
A few more Cove shots just missed the mark with Poste just missing the right post and freshman Trinity Garcia ricocheting one off the crossbar with 14:08.
The Lady Dawgs’ final score came on a solo shot by sophomore Brianna Miles when she out-maneuvered with a shot under the arms of a diving Shoemaker senior goalkeeper Kaylyn Kragie for the 4-1 lead with 10:44 left in regulation.
The Lady Dawgs finished with 39 shots on goal with four finding the net while the Lady Wolves attempted 13 shots on goal with one finding a home.
The Lady Dawgs have a tough road contest at the second-place Harker Heights Lady Knights.
“We were very successful against (Harker Heights) last time,” said coach Duran. “We got a win in the very final seconds. I’m hoping to go in there with some of our injuries coming back and I’m hoping we play smart and play our game. They are a good team, so hopefully we play smart and come out successful.
The Lady Dawgs return home to close out the regular season against Killeen (2-7-2, 10 pts) on Tuesday and Temple (5-5-1, 16 pts) next Friday and needing to take both wins to secure their spot in the playoffs.
“We just need to be consistent,” said Duran. “That’s something I’ve been telling them all year. We need to be consistent in the way we play and the way we approach every game mentally and we need to play as a team.
“Communication is getting so much better for us. The growth has been phenomenal from last year. Last year we finished sixth, so this year and the way we’re playing, I’m so proud.”
Bulldawgs move into third with 5-3 win at Shoemaker
The Cove boys’ team also picked up a big win to stay in the playoff hunt with their 5-3 win over the Grey Wolves on the road.
A goal by Justin Crook on the assist by Gabriel Davis put the Bulldawgs out front before a penalty kick by Davis found the net to break the 1-1 tie. 
The Bulldawgs increased their lead to two with a solo goal by Justin Carrion-Hernandez for a 3-1 lead at the half.
Two Shoemaker goals knotted the match again at 3-all before another Crook goal gave Cove back the lead, 4-3, and Albert Botello iced the game with a goal on a second-chance attempt. 
The Bulldawgs(6-3-2, 22 points) host Harker Heights (3-8-0, 9 pts) tonight before closing the regular season on the road at second-place Killeen (7-3-1, 23 pts) and first-place Temple (9-1-1, 28 pts).

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