Klein Oak picks up playoff momentum with win over Klein Cain
All of Klein Oak’s losses this season have come at the hands of teams that are also qualified to the postseason like them, including two against District 15-6A rivals Klein and Oak Ridge.
Having gained valuable experience from facing top teams from around the state and realizing the toughness of 15-6A, head coach Becky Cobb and the Lady Panthers were headstrong looking for a season-ending victory vs. Klein Cain.
Senior Ava Schulte, senior Caroline Quirgoa and sophomore Michelle Breeden scored goals as the Lady Panthers cruised to their 12th district win 3-0 against the Lady Hurricanes, March 22, at Klein Oak High School.
“I thought it was a pretty well-fought game. They gave us a hard time last time. We did not take this game lightly,” Cobb said. “We knew that we had to come in here and really play well and we did that.”
Klein Oak (13-6-4, 12-2-2) secured second place in 15-6A with the win and also had another shut out by duo keepers junior Isobel Herrod and junior Brooke Beam. The pair of goalkeepers, alongside the defense, have the fewest allowed goals in district.
“Everything that we set up to accomplish we did,” Cobb said.
The Lady Panthers will place second behind first-place The Woodlands, third-place Oak Ridge and fourth-place Klein. Besides the two losses in district, Klein Oak also tied The Woodlands twice and lost in non-district to Clear Springs, Frenship, Prosper and Clemens.
“This district has great been for us,” Cobb said. “The competition is high every night that we step on the field, I think that will help prepare us going into the playoffs.”
The Klein Oak boys team also clinched a postseason berth for the first time in eight years with a 4-0 win over Klein Cain, March 22. The Bearkats and Lady Bearkats clinched playoff spots as well.
It took the Lady Panthers almost 20 minutes to get going offensively as both defenses’ back lines were well organized.
Schulte had the first clear chance of scoring in the 18th minute when her shot, from just inside the box, to the bottom left corner was blocked by the goalkeeper.
Schulte quickly made up for missing a few minutes later with an wide open shot from the left side of the box that went low and pass the goalie for the score.
It didn’t take long for Quirgoa to make it 2-0 after the Lady Hurricane defense was unable to clear the ball in the danger zone and Quirgoa tapped it in.
Klein Cain sophomore Sofia Pezirtzoglou almost cut the deficit to one goal before halftime with a shot from outside the box, which was caught by the goalie.
In the second half, Klein Oak continued having majority possession of the ball and attacking, just like the first half.
Breeden made it 3-0 with a strike, from outside the box, to the top left corner of the goal, late in the second half.
Schulte could’ve had her second goal when her shot off a corner kick sailed high with 20 minutes left. Sophomore Jacqueline Barnes and senior Jamie Jezierski also had chances to score.
“We stuck to our game plan, we’re able to sit a few people after we got up a couple of goals,” Cobb said. “We knew the outcome needed to be for us.”