The Belton Lady Tigers took a 1-1-1 record into the Round Rock Invitational Soccer Tournament on Thursday afternoon, as they took on the Vista Ridge Lady Rangers.
Tiarra Hodges blasted a corner kick from Yuliana Cruz into the net during the game’s 24th minute, but Vista Ridge answered with three goals to stun the Lady Tigers 3-1.
Belton played without the services of Georgia Helein and Erica Anderson due to injuries.
Gracie Green was dazzling early, making several saves within the match’s first 10 minutes. Abby Cargile had two solid rushes down the pitch, while Tiarra Hodges and Gracie Martone had solid backline patrols and kept action away from the Belton goal.
Taylor Gurnett and Morgan Magana kept the defensive flowing on the backside and fed Cargile in the middle of the field.
Cruz blasted a corner kick into the goal box. Izzy Rhodes got a cleat on the ball, directed it to Hodges and the senior forward collected the tally to put Belton up 1-0 with 16:48 to play in the first half.
Rachel Ramm steered away a couple of Vista Ridge forwards away from scoring opportunities and Abby Lucksinger made a pair of solid clears out of the goal box.
The Lady Rangers picked up a free kick with just under five minutes to play in the half and deposited the ball behind Green with 4:35 remaining to tie the game at 1-1.
The possession in the second half was to the Lady Tigers’ advantage early, as passes were being made but the connections were just off time. Hodges and Cruz both blasted 30-yard shots wide of the left post.
A Vista Ridge forward hit drifting shot that got caught into the northern wind that picked up during the game. The ball drifted over Green’s head and into the net for the go-ahead goal.
Hodges ripped two 30-yard shots, including a turn around blast, wide right of the goal. Later, she ripped two 35-yarders that went with the wind over the net.
Vista Ridge scored their third goal of the game on a controversial play in the box. Katelyn Chrisman, who took over for Green near the halfway point of second half, jumped to catch a corner kick when a pair of Lady Rangers collided into her. Chrisman caught the ball, but one of the Vista Ridge players took out her legs and she landed on her side, dislodging the ball. A Lady Ranger booted the ball into the back of the net and the referee awarded the goal to make the score 3-1 with 9:29 to play in the game.
The Lady Tigers were unable to get close to the Vista Ridge goal and dropped the two-goal decision.
Belton will take on Highland Park on Friday in Round Rock.