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Bulldogs move on in soccer playoffs after OT

Once again, Meg Sheppard made the difference.

Nederland’s super sophomore scored the winning goal to advance the Bulldogs again in the 5A girls soccer playoffs, winning 2-1 in overtime over Fort Bend Elkins in the area round at Baytown’s Stallworth Stadium on Friday night. The Bulldogs (19-2-2) will take on District 22-5A rival Lumberton in the regional quarterfinals on Tuesday, with the time and location of the playoff to be determined.

“It was a lot of back-and-forth,” Nederland coach Keith Barrow said. “Our defense, it was the best defensive game we played all year. Elkins ran three forwards, so it made us make some adjustments.”

Sheppard scored her 35th goal of the season on a free kick, 5 minutes, 15 seconds into the first half of overtime. The goal allowed Nederland to bounce back from Elkins’ late score with 3 ½ minutes left in regulation.

The first half went scoreless, but 30 seconds into the second half, Haley Dugas put the Bulldogs on the board.

“We were a little timid at first on defense, but once we settled in, we played really well,” Barrow said. “We were going with the wind, so we wanted to go high-pressure. After the first 10-15 minutes, we got a little tighter. We started putting a little more pressure on their forwards.”

Port Neches-Groves beat Santa Fe 2-1 in the second game at Stallworth Stadium on Friday.

— I.C. Murrell

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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