As of Wednesday, March 6, 2013
St Joseph girls soccer
The Lady Flyers lost 4-1 in a TAPPS Division II regional final Tuesday in College Station.
COLLEGE STATION - Their season was gone with the wind.
St. Joseph ended its season one game short of the state tournament, with San Antonio Christian scoring four goals in the first 30 minutes of the game and never looking back.
The Lions (23-6-1) defeated St. Joseph 4-1 in the TAPPS Division II regional final on a blustery Tuesday afternoon at Ellis Field.
Amanda Groenhuyzen had the only goal for the Lady Flyers (13-5) in the 38th minute of the game.
But on a day where wind gusts reached 25 mph, the Lady Flyers refused to blame the weather for the defeat. However, San Antonio Christian coach Kara Walters admitted having the wind in the first half was among the pregame tactics.
"That was definitely the benefit," Walters said. "I knew it would die down a bit in the second half. We wanted to score early and as much as we could before the second."
She was right. Not only did the conditions calm down in the second 40 minutes, but so did the goals.
Christian led 4-0 off two goals from Shannon Lucas and another two from Miranda Menchaca. It was the first Menchaca goal that may have been the decider in the game.
"It was tough, but we played our hardest," said St. Joseph senior Amanda Groenhuyzen, who scored a goal in her final varsity game. "We gave it our all and played the best we could."
As was the case in St. Joseph's area round win over Houston Northland Christian, the Lady Flyers came out slow but found their footing late.
"They played a much better game in the second half," said St. Joseph coach Vicki Sontheimer. "In the first half, I don't really know what happened. They took too long to settle down. They were excited about the game, and it took a while for them to settle down."
The Lady Flyers weren't able to get the ball deep on offense during the first 20 minutes of the game. That began to change midway through the first half, when midfielders Nicole Sontheimer and Kendra Barker were able to find forward Amanda Groenhuyzen.
Despite trailing 2-0 there was still confidence the Lady Flyers could pull it out.
But another goal by Menchaca in the 26th minute proved to be deflating.
"I always think that two goals you can overcome," said coach Sontheimer. "The third one you always feel that kind of takes the wind out of their sails. When they score a third one on you (it's tough)."
The score and the conditions may not have been in the Lady Flyers favor in the first half, but they took optimism into halftime.
In the 38th minute, Nicole Sontheimer went wide left to grab a ball, and found Groenhuyzen, who fired a one-time shot into the far corner to cut the deficit to 4-1.
"It was a great feeling," Groenhuyzen said about her goal. "Nicole and I connect well. It was kind of the usual. It gave us hope."
The connection between the two longtime friends and teammates was the Lady Flyers only shot on goal in the first half. It also probably gave Walters cause for concern, considering another pregame tactic was shutting down Sontheimer's service in the midfield.
"Her technical ability on the ball, her ability to turn and beat players was a main concern for us," Walters said about Sontheimer. "(Groenhuyzen) was on the right side, but I felt if we could keep thee ball out of the center it would be a non-issue."
St. Joseph tried to make it an issue in the second half. They Lady Flyers had eight shots, four of which were on goal. However, three of the shots on target were hit directly at Christian goalkeeper Sydney Vickers.
"The girls have played really well. It's been great watching them play and watch them work together as a team," Sontheimer said. "Even the newer girls are really coming along. It's been good watching them develop as a team. They have done really well. They have had a great season."