RED OAK – Most high school kids can’t wait for spring break. Members of the Red Oak girls soccer program will be glad when the week off from school and a routine is over.
Just days after falling in a de facto district championship match with Waxahachie, the team needed to close out the regular season with one last game against Ennis. Despite beating the Lady Lions 5-0 in the first meeting, the Lady Hawks scored just once in the second battle, clinging to a 1-0 win.
“I think once we get back to school and we start having practice first period and we start going after school they will get refocused,” coach Laurie Norrell said. “For some reason this team does not like any change whatsoever so I think not having the first period practices, that small, little change affects us for some reason. We don’t like change.”
Paige McMillan’s goal with 5:09 left in the first half off an assist by Samantha Gonzales was all the offense Red Oak could conjure up for the game. The lackluster offense was the overwhelming theme of the week as the Lady Hawks struggled against Waxahachie in the Tuesday game.
However, against Ennis the defense did bounce back from a humbling experience earlier in the week.
After allowing five goals to the Lady Indians on Tuesday, Red Oak controlled tempo and possession for much of the game against Ennis giving the Lady Lions few quality shots on goal.
While the effort was a big improvement for what happened earlier in week, it still wasn’t the soccer Red Oak is accustomed to playing especially at this point in the season.
“We’re not there yet. We’re not moving right, we’re not playing our soccer. But we’re starting to get back to where we are,” McMillan said.
The second half saw the Lady Hawks get more than double the quality looks at the goal than it did in the first half. Still, the team could not cash in and was forced to hold off an opportunistic Ennis team rather than finish them off.
Now Red Oak awaits its playoff fate as the brackets get sorted out. The Lady Hawks are already in the area round thanks to a phantom district in the bi-district matchup. The next opponent will be a likely Dallas ISD school from District 25- or 26-4A. Red Oak was the second place finisher in District 28-4A meaning its next opponent will either be a district champion or fourth place finisher.
Norrell just hopes the late season struggles are in no way indicative of the team that’s about to enter the playoffs.
“Ultimately I think Ennis played very well tonight. I don’t think that we came out in the first half ready to play. I think that was apparent. Second half we came out much better, much better,” Norrell said. “I think Ennis gained more confidence the longer we let them stay in it. I’m not dogging them, they had a great game but I think it was our fault for not coming out the way we needed to.”
Contact Alex at email@example.com or at 469-517-1456.