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SOCCER ROUNDUP: Wisdom denies Memorial in OT

Staff reports

Just 54 more seconds, and Memorial would have gone to second straight postseason shootout.

Instead, the Titans tasted area-round defeat for the second year in a row.

A goal with 54 seconds left gave Houston Wisdom a 2-1 victory at Port Arthur’s Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, ending the Titans’ season at 7-10-4.

“They were all over us all game,” Memorial coach Chris Bradford said of Wisdom. “It seemed like it was a matter of time, and if my guys could hold up.”

Instead, the injuries the Titans faced going into the game, along with the Generals’ intensity, came back to haunt the home team.

Bradford was missing about four starters due to injury, four days after pulling out 5-4 shootout win over District 22-5A champion Friendswood in Anahuac. One of them, Andres Hernandez, still managed to give Memorial a 1-0 lead midway through the second half.

But the Generals (16-5-1) continued to wear down the Titans and eventually tied the game with 54 seconds left in regulation.

“Being a Houston team, they had a lot of physicality and a lot of depth,” Bradford said. “We had 60 percent of our team with injuries. We didn’t have about 3 or 4 starters. I could barely play those same guys today.”

Wisdom went ahead with about 4 minutes remaining in the second overtime.

“We could foresee cracking a little bit,” Bradford said. “They were coming. The kids fought hard. They gave everything they had.”

About 600 people, by Bradford’s estimation, saw a rare playoff game in Port Arthur, the largest crowd the coach recalls seeing in his two years at the helm.

Wisdom will play either Goose Creek Memorial or Manvel in the Region III quarterfinals.



PNG 1, Foster 0

Mont Belvieu, Port Neches-Groves will see you again Friday night.

Breeana Riggs bent a free kick into the net with 11 seconds left in regulation, and the District 21-5A runner-up Indians (18-5-5) will return to Barbers Hill High School to take on Texas City at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Proud of B-Riggs having the confidence to take that shot,” Bates said. “She wanted it, she buried it, and it was beautiful. Total team win. I’m proud of my girls.”

Richmond Foster finished the season 21-2 after going unbeaten in District 24-5A.

“We came out firing,” Indians coach Aimee Bates said. “We won every 50-50 ball. I felt like, looking at it, we wanted it more than them. We were talking, communicating. The defense played well. We outshot them 16-10.”

Yet, PNG failed to score within the 6-yard box on about four occasions.

A win Friday will put the Indians in the Region III semifinals for the fifth year in a row. The PNG-Texas City winner will face either the Kingwood Park-Cedar Park winner or College Station-Leander Rouse survivor.


Nederland 3, Manvel 0

Later Tuesday in Mont Belvieu, the 21-5A champion Bulldogs (19-1-5) scored their third consecutive shutout to advance to the 5A Region III quarterfinal round.

Meg Sheppard scored her fourth and fifth goals this postseason, and Hanna Foster netted another.

Nederland and Friendswood will face off in the next round, with time, date and place to be announced. Friendswood is the 22-5A champion and has outscored Memorial and Angleton by a combined 16-0 score in the playoffs.

The Nederland-Friendswood winner will take on either Georgetown or Pflugerville in the regional semifinals.

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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