MIDLOTHIAN – When Eliza Carey launched the ball from about 25 yards out, there were two people caught off guard in the following moments – the Mans-field Legacy goalkeeper and Carey.
The sophomore’s hooking shot sailed into the upper corner of the Bronco net for Midlothian’s first goal of the game at the 25:46 mark of the second half as the Lady Panthers went on to pick up a big 2-0 win.
“I didn’t know that it went in at first so it was really good to turn around and see that it went in,” Carey said with a laugh.
While that goal might not have been exactly how the Lady Panthers drew it up, the renewed offensive attack was highly stressed during the halftime break. After the two teams played to a 0-0 draw through the first 40 minutes, coach Austin Guest challenged his team to be more aggressive and press down on the offensive end.
The plan worked to perfection as Carey’s shot broke the deadlock and provided a little scoring spark to a defensive struggle.
About 13 minutes later, senior Alex Furr broke Legacy’s comeback effort with a blast into the net to seal the win.
“We discussed a few things at halftime and the girls came out and implemented them really well. We put Legacy under some pressure and took advantage of a couple of mistakes,” Guest said.
With the win, Midlothian (9-5-2, 2-0-1 district) is on the fast track to start district competition. After opening with a draw against Kennedale, the Lady Panthers have picked up back-to-back wins over Arlington Seguin and preseason top 10 Legacy.
The momentum building has become crucial for the team after getting off to an up and down start. A tough slate of teams led to a 7-5-1 start.
That made Monday’s game all the more important as the team was able to race out to a unblemished start in district.
“We’re still at the beginning of district and hopefully we’ve got a playoff race ahead of that. It’s all about having the right combination at the right time,” Guest said.
Just as important as getting ahead on the district schedule might have been building some quick confidence for the week ahead. After moving the game with the Broncos from Friday to Monday, the Lady Panthers have a 24-hour turnaround for a road trip to Mansfield Timberview today. The team will then take a two-day break for facing Everman at home for the third game in five days.
A good start to the week has the team on a positive vibe it’s hoping will only continue to help push things along.
“It’s a big confidence builder for tomorrow. We’ve got our spirits up so we can come out strong tomorrow,” Carey said.