Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

March 29, 2014

Girls Area Soccer Playoffs: Tigers turn back Woodrow Wilson 2-1 to win area playoff

WAXAHACHIE — Stan Jones was at a loss for words.

Elizabeth Castaneda was thankful — oh how thankful.

Cindy Turrubiartes was breathing again.

And the rest of the Corsicana girls soccer team? Well, they were alive and well after beating Dallas Woodrow Wilson, 2-1, to win the girls soccer Class 4A area round playoff game Friday. There hey were, right there at Lumpkin Stadium in Waxahachie, hugging and sharing the moment — alive and kicking.

They had listened to all the words from Jones, and they were more than thankful for Castaneda, and yes — just like Turrubiartes — they were breathing just fine.

“I don't even know what to say,'' said Jones, who was proud of his kids that he couldn't find the words to describe just how sweet this win felt.

But his mile-wide smile was a dead give-away.

“Makenzie Taylor gets hurt, Castaneda wasn't at full speed and we're playing without two impact players,'' he said, referring to two starters who missed the game because they had to sit out after being  hit with red cards in the season finale against Ennis. “And we won.''

They sure did.

Fighting for every inch, every nuance and every edge they could find all night against a talented team form Dallas, the Tigers did win.

Turrubiartes was amazing in goal. If there's a better word, then use that word. You can bet the kids from Woodrow (everyone in Dallas calls the school by the former president's first name) were talking about Turrubiartes all the way back to the Big D.

It was her bigger-than-life D that stopped Woodrow all night. By the time it was over, Turrubiartes had a dozen saves and more than half of them belonged on a highlight tape, including two one-on-one spectacular in-your-face saves. She made four saves in the final eight minutes, and stopped a bullet that was fired from just outside the center of the box with a little more than six minutes, leaping with a take-your-breath away move that broke Woodrow's heart and kept the lead in Corsicana's hands.

The Tigers were in good hands with Turrubiartes all night, especially in the final turbulent minutes when Woodrow threw everything at Corsicana.

“I couldn't breath and I couldn't blink,'' said Turrubiartes. Then she stopped for a minute and smiled, adding, “I can breathe now.''

So can the Tigers, who advance to the third round of the playoffs. They meet Waxahachie next week back at Lumpkin Stadium in the sectional round. Jones said he thought the game would probably be played on Friday.

The Tigers girls soccer team became the first team from CHS to win a playoff game this school year.

“We made a statement,’’ Jones said.

When the Tigers leave Corsicana next week, they will make sure Castaneda is on the bus. She might as well drive it. She drove the Tigers all night and it was her determination that lifted Corsicana to the 2-1 edge.

Castaneda scored both goals and was a constant threat. Her first goal was a thing of beauty. Her second was inspirational.

She broke the ice quickly, scoring in the eighth minute of the game on a breakaway from a honey of a pass from Erika Salazar, who timed her lead perfectly and sent the ball just far enough up field for Castaneda to run it down and ram it into the back of the net.

“I was wide open,'' Castaneda said. “It was a perfect pass from her. When I got to the ball all I could think was, 'I can't miss, I can't miss.'”

She didn't.

Woodrow knotted things up in the fourth minute of the second half on the one shot Turrubiartes couldn't get her hands on — a killer shot from just outside the box from Monica Castro, who took advantage of the wind to her back and had just enough power and just enough lift to send the ball high into the right corner of the net to tie things at 1-1.

The Tigers had to play into a tough wind in the second half. They battled all night, fighting for every loose ball and some that weren't loose at all.

It was just about midway in the second half when Jenny Garcia, who had a splendid game just missing  on at least four would-be-assists in the first half, won a battle for the ball at midfield, and then slipped into the open space. Once she got there she spotted Castaneda streaking down the right side and fired a pass that split the defender and Castaneda, allowing Castaneda to make a run without being offside.

She outran the defender and suddenly had daylight all the way to the goal.

She bolted. And so did Woodrow's goalkeeper.

“The goalie came up out of the box — about 10 yards out,'' Castaneda said. “Then she hesitated. She kind of stuttered.''

That's when Castaneda fired away — a good 25 yards out. The goalkeeper and Castaneda both closed on the ball, which skipped off the goalkeeper, bouncing just to the right. Castaneda somehow beat her to the ball, and managed to also beat a defender who was closing fast.

“I had to get there. I had to make the shot,'' Castaneda said. “Once it bounced away from the goalie, I could feel (the other defender) on me, and that when I took the shot. I feel down, and all I could think of was, 'Thank God I made it!'

“When I saw the ball go in, I was like, 'This is it!'”

It was. The goal and the Tigers held up — all the way up.

The Tigers girls soccer team became the first team from CHS to win a playoff game this school year.

“We made a statement,’’ Jones said.

Jones was still shaking is head over the winning goal after the game.

“Elizabeth was great,'' he said. “That second goal … She just got there. She had a lot of fight just to get there, to get to the ball (beating the goalkeeper and the defender). That was pure will. If there's one player that carried the team — and we won as a team — it was her on that play. It was her will to get to the ball and score — it was all will.''

Jones was proud of everyone, and talked about the huge game the team got from Alex Bland and from Garcia and Taylor, who went full speed all night and were either fighting for the ball or creating daylight.

“Cindy was great, just great in goal, and we played hard all night,'' Jones said. “And Taylor and Garcia really stepped up in the second half.''

It was that kind of game, that kind of night for the Tigers.

They walked off the field after the win, holding hands in unison, and then the entire team took a bow to the large and vocal crowd from Corsicana.

Smiles everywhere, hugs abundant, they walked out together, surviving.

Somewhere in the joyous exit, Turrubiartes was blinking and breathing and Castaneda was still thankful, and Jones. Well, maybe there aren't words for just how good he felt.

 

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