AP NEWS

Second Baptist storms into final four return

February 18, 2019

The Second Baptist girls soccer team made a dominant run through TAPPS Division II District 7, outscoring opponents 64-5 in 10 undefeated matches.

The Eagles carried that level of play into their postseason opener, a 10-0 shutout of San Antonio Texas Military Institute Episcopal, Feb. 12 at The Kinkaid School. They added a 5-1 victory against Corpus Christi Incarnate Word in the regional round Feb. 16, earning a return trip to the state semifinals.

Second Baptist (15-1-1) was scheduled for a semifinal rematch with San Antonio Christian (16-5), which defeated Cypress Christian 2-1. SBS defeated Cypress Christian 3-1 and 5-1 during the district season.

“The goal (against TMI) as just to come out and play a solid game, to work on the things we’ve been working on all season and make sure we didn’t take any steps backward as we’re going deeper into the playoffs,” Second Baptist coach Geoffrey Brooks said. “We wanted to make a statement to the state that we’re ready to play everybody.”

Seniors Sydney Miller and Lindsey Pedersen both scored three goals in the area playoff. Miller got SBS started early, sending in a rocket from 25 yards away five minutes into the match. The Eagles continued to attack, narrowly missing a few times until Miller’s second goal in the 21st minute.

Freshman Naomi Konuma scored the first of her two goals four minutes later. Miller made it 4-0 in the 30th minute, redirecting a spinning loose ball perfectly into the top corner.

The rout was on by then, as senior Hallie Wuensch scored from 45 yards out and Pedersen converted a penalty kick for a 6-0 halftime lead.

Pedersen had the hat track by the 49th minute, while Konuma scored in the 70th and freshman Danielle Tackett sealed the final margin two minutes later.

The starting defense of senior Josie Towns, junior Sarah Flynn and freshmen Alexis Gill and Cameron Kelley rarely allowed play in the Eagles’ half of the field and contributed to the attack.

Senior Madison Pennington, junior Kendall Pennington and freshman Julia Sauvageau helped the Eagles control time of possession. Keepers Katie Dillon and Emma Reed combined for the shutout, both fielding the ball once due to the effective defense.

The Eagles continued to build on an impressive regular season that included victories against TAPPS Division I state semifinalist St. Agnes and SPC semifinalist Episcopal.

The Tigers defeated Awty International 4-0 and Antonian College Prep 2-1 to join SBS as state semifinalists. They were scheduled to face Beaumont Kelly, a team SBS tied in its season opener.

“(St. Agnes and Episcopal) are two quality programs that we love to play against,” Brooks said. “They give us great games. We finally stepped up this year and were able to put a W on the board with both those schools.”

The Eagles returned all but two starters from last season’s state semifinal run, using that experience to return to the final four. It had been more than a decade since their previous semifinal appearance.

But with the help of assistant coaches Sami Killion and Lindsay Marsh, Brooks and the Eagles are on the verge of school history.

“The girls are great,” Brooks said. “My assistant coaches have done a phenomenal job building the team together. My senior leadership has really stepped up. They’ve really found a way to bond and create a sisterhood. They’ve put this together. I’ve been lucky enough to drive the bus, literally and figuratively.”

The Houston area could be represented quite well in TAPPS state finals. St. Thomas (25-2-2) edged Antonian 2-1 to return to the TAPPS Division I semifinals against San Antonio Central Catholic.

St. Thomas Episcopal still has two teams on the field in Division III. The girls emerged victorious on penalty kicks in a regional thriller against New Braunfels Christian, improving to 19-1 to face Geneva School of Boerne in the semifinals.

The Saints are cruising in the boys playoffs, following a 3-0 opener with a 7-0 rout of Bryan St. Joseph to improve to 19-2.