Nothing came easy for Aledo’s soccer clubs on Friday night when they faced off against Northside on the road in the bi-district playoff matchups. The Ladycats shutout Northside’s ladies’ soccer team 6-0 to advance to the Area round where they will meet Midlothian on Tuesday at a time and place to be determined.
Meanwhile, the Bearcats came up just short in a 3-2 battle against the hosting Steers.
Both matches were extraordinarily physical with very few fouls being called by the referees. With what often resembled a mosh pit at a rock concert more than a soccer match, bodies hit the pitch early and often in both contests.
In the early game, the Ladycats’ offensive pressure was just as unrelenting as the physical play. Any successful trip across midfield by the Lady Steers was short lived as Aledo captured possession once more on the way to launch another offensive assault on the Northside goal.
That pressure began to pay off a little less than eight minutes into the game when Emery Thompson drilled home the first score of the game for the Ladycats from 60 feet out. Harper Smith added a second goal of the game for Aledo with a little more than 20 minutes remaining in the first half to put the visiting team up by a 2-0 margin at halftime.
Second-half adjustments by the Ladycats paid dividends. Smith earned her second goal of the contest at the 22:56 mark of the second half when a beautiful assist by Thompson set up a shot on goal that found its mark.
Reagan Krajca, Emaree Gibson, and Hailey Vandiver added goals of their own all within a five-minute span to secure the victory for the advancing Ladycats.
Early in the nightcap Northside set a frenetic pace with their attack that had both teams sprinting the length of the field. The Bearcats struggled to mount any tenable offense in the initial moments of the match, but were left to weather the storm by punting the ball to the far end of the field to force the Steers to face defensive resistance the length of the pitch.
Just 11 minutes into the game the frenzied pace paid off for the Steers as they put their first goal on the board to take the 1-0 lead.
However, in the minutes that followed, the blistering pace the home team set early on began to take an inevitable toll on the Steers. As Northside began to run on fumes, Aledo was able to capitalize by mounting some offense of their own. With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Indiana University commit Clay Murador tied up the match 1-1 with his first goal of the contest.
Northside answered back a few minutes later to take a 2-1 advantage into the half.
In the second half Murador scored his second goal of the match and the sixth playoff goal of his career in three playoff matches.
Unfortunately, Northside managed to find the goal once more as the Bearcat 2023 season came to a close in Fort Worth.
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