• 64°

GIRLS SOCCER: Bulldogs’ loss caps Mid-County season

5A Region III girls semifinal: Pflugerville 3, Nederland 0

Meg Sheppard of Nederland dribbles through a double team of Pflugerville’s Kyndahl Britton and Aurora Arevalo in the second half Friday in Humble. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 4-12-19

Nederland coach Aaron Tomplait consoles senior Meg Sheppard after Pflugerville’s 3-0 win at the end of a 5A Region III semifinal in Humble on Friday. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 4-12-19

Phoebe Short of Nederland reacts to a yellow card against her as teammate Lauryn Hughes looks on during the second half of a 5A Region III semifinal against Pflugerville on Friday in Humble. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 4-12-19

Destyn Miguez of Nederland dribbles upfield against Pflugerville on Friday in Humble. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 4-12-19

HUMBLE — The potential for a third meeting of the season between Nederland and Port Neches-Groves in girls soccer still existed going into Friday morning, but Nederland senior Destyn Miguez didn’t care about that.

“Our goal was to go to state,” she said. “That’s it, period. We’re just trying to get to the next step.”

Pflugerville beat Nederland, 3-0, in the second semifinal of the UIL 5A Region III tournament at Humble High School’s Turner Stadium, ending the season for the Mid-County rivals. PNG lost the first semifinal to Kingwood Park, 6-3.

Pflugerville’s Panthers (24-1-1) will take on Kingwood Park’s Panthers at 11 a.m. Saturday for a spot in next week’s state tournament in Georgetown.

Still, Nederland (20-2-5) went two rounds further than last season and made it to their second Region III tournament in three years.

“I know we played our hardest,” Miguez said. “We’re going to hang our heads high. I’m not very disappointed. I’m just super-sad that the season’s over.”

Both the Bulldogs and Indians had made the regional tournament in 2017, but lost in the semifinals. Nederland last made a regional final in 2000.

Nederland found some shot opportunities in the first half but did not convert. Goalkeeper Lauren Banning stopped a free kick by Bulldogs senior Meg Sheppard with 10:30 remaining and the Panthers already ahead 1-0.

“Pflugerville came out strong,” Tomplait said. “We came out pretty strong, too. “We were running with them. We let one get in. We just had a hard time kind of fighting our way back in it.”

Pflugerville opened the scoring almost 5 minutes earlier on Isela Ramirez’s goal from 18 yards out. Kaitlyn Melton then connected on a goal with 3:59 left before halftime.

MaKenzie Harvey headed in a shot with 22:50 left.

Tomplait said the focus after the game was on his 10 seniors, including Skylar Thomassie, Lauryn Hughes, Haley Plumley, Phoebe Short, Bailey Chandler, Daphne Solis, Hailey Dugas and Abby Gray. The class won the District 21-5A championship this year and a share of the 22-5A title a year ago.

“What a great year they’ve had,” Tomplait said. “What a great year this team’s had. Two losses on the year is not bad. That’s something these kids can carry forever and should be proud of. We love them to death, and I’m proud of what they’ve been able to do.”

Said Miguez, an LSU Eunice signee: “I love them. They’re great. We’re going to do big things in college, and I’m proud of each and every one of them.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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.

email author More by I.C.