, Port Arthur, Texas

April 7, 2014

PN-G eyes strong defensive foe

Tom Halliburton
The Port Arthur News

GALENA PARK — Guessing the final score of Port Neches-Groves and College Station could be (A) 1-0; (B) 2-1; or (C) 0-0.

  Defense has been a strong suit for the Lady Indians and Lady Cougars prior to tonight’s 4A regional quarterfinal soccer playoff game at Galena Park ISD stadium.

  That opinion being written, though, it can’t prevent Alyssa Talbot, Hannah Higgins, Mikayla Johnson and Hannah Gerald from making attempts and bravely trying to win. You have to keep on kicking.

  And therein lies the deception in PN-G’s 1-0 sectional upset of powerful Magnolia last week. Talbot, Higgins, Johnson and Gerald all fired good shots in that Lady Indians victory. Any one of them also could have scored a goal as powerful as their shots were.

  Coach Aimee Bates and every single one of those Lady Indians are thankful that those near-misses did not stop freshman Hailey Loupe from taking her shot – a most improbable, long-range ‘looper’ of a rainbow. Loupe took her shot with about 15 minutes to play. Some might think it was good fortune which allowed the shot’s arc to sail just beyond the keeper’s finger tips. But the point is PN-G kept on shooting.

  Bates saw a similar squad to hers when she saw College Station in its 5-1 victory over Lampasas at the Waco ISD stadium field.

  ’’They play a similar style to us,” Bates said over the weekend. “They moved it around and were very possession-oriented.”

  College Station coach Stoney Pryor and his Lady Cougars (20-3) are returning to this round for the second time in the program’s two years. Goalkeeper Christina Hendershot has presided over 19 shutouts in College Station’s 23 games.

  An ankle injury to junior midfielder Courtney Aleman was the lone downer for the Lady Cougars in last week’s win. The Lady Indians were labeled at full strength Monday evening by their coach.

  PN-G will be the home team and will sit on the west side of Galena Park ISD stadium. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.