A valiant effort came up just short as the Lufkin Lady Panthers suffered a heartbreaking area round decision to Mansfield Lake Ridge at Tyler’s Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Friday night.
Lufkin built an early 1-0 lead before Lake Ridge applied the pressure late. The Lady Panthers eventually held on to force an overtime and a shootout before Lake Ridge’s Brooke Lampe came up with the key saves in the shootout.
“It’s tough to lose a game like that,” Lufkin head coach Antonio Encarnacion. “The girls played hard, but it just didn’t work out for us.”
In the early going, it looked like Lufkin may be able to advance to the regional quarterfinals after falling in the area round last year.
Lufkin’s leading scorer Katelyn Knowles passed to Abby Horn for a goal and an early 1-0 lead.
That lead stayed until halftime when Lake Ridge turned it up a notch. Lake Ridge eventually tied it on Eryn Herrington’s second-half goal.
Lake Ridge kept up the pressure in the final minutes with Lufkin hanging on to force overtime.Haley Roe made a save early in the shootout to give the Lady Panthers a chance but they couldn’t convert on enough opportunities to advance to the regional quarterfinals.
The setback was only the second of the season for Lufkin in 22 games. The Lady Panthers finished with a 12-2-9 record.
Members of the 2016 Lady Panthers are Gaby Duran, Haley Roe, Melinda Tang, Haley Standifird, Litzy Rodriguez, Julissa Muniz, Abby Horn, Kara Peikert, Katelyn Knowles, Silvia Santoyo, Yasmine Gonzalez, Tyler Tippit, Suzanne Youssef, McKenzi Crager, Nayelie Macias, Anna Reyes, Ashley Walker, Alexandra Escobedo, Alexis Lopez and Kaela Stripling.