MARBLE FALLS — After a 5-1 trashing of Austin LBJ Saturday, the Marble Falls High School girls soccer team is feeling more than a belief it can win its second round playoff game.
The Lady Mustangs (10-7-8, 7-4-3 in District 49-4A) are oozing with confidence thanks to making history by advancing in the playoffs for the first time since Marble Falls added the sport in 1992.
And they’ll need plenty of that as they prepare to face former district foe New Braunfels Canyon 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive.
The area playoff game will be a rematch of the 7-2 Canyon win against Marble Falls Jan. 19.
“We played well and played hard against them,” head coach Paulette Moczygemba said. “But they won. It was one of those where I came back and said the score isn’t indicative of the level of play.”
Just like LBJ, Canyon will have plenty of speed at every position, she said.
The Lady Cougars are ranked in seventh in Central Texas. They finished second in District 51-4A behind Dripping Springs. The Lady Tigers won two meetings between the two squads. The last one was a 1-0 victory Feb. 19, while the 3-0 win came Jan. 26. Canyon earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
Moczygemba called the victory against LBJ “a solid win.”
Marble Falls scored two goals in the first half.
Freshman forward Savannah Henderson beat three Lady Jags to run down a long ball and kicked from the left side. The ball hit the inside of the right post and bounced into the left corner for the game’s first goal with 27 minutes, 59 seconds remaining.
After LBJ tied the game by converting on a crossing pass, junior center midfielder Alexis Russell scored on a left-footed kick that curved into the right side of the net.
The duo struck again in the second half.
Russell gave Henderson a deep pass. The freshman kicked the ball into the left side of the goal with 34:38 remaining in the contest.
Freshman forward Megan Russell, Alexis Russell’s little sister, was standing in front of the goal and knocked it through for the fourth score about five minutes later.
With 9:11 left, Alexis Russell scored again. She dribbled around the defender and took the shot left-footed, which found the right corner.
The game in January was played in Canyon, and Moczygemba hopes Tuesday’s game, which takes place in the friendly confines of Mustang Stadium, will be an advantage.
“I think things are great for the girls,” she said. “We’re playing at home.”
The coach said traveling to Austin or New Braunfels was about a 90-minute bus ride on a school night, so the Lady Mustangs will avoid that.
And besides, they will be playing on the same field they practice on, just a few paces from their locker room, trainer’s room and the parking lot they see each day.
“It will give us a mental advantage, playing at home,” Moczygemba said.