Log in

Aledo bounces Brewer


With both teams in the playoff hunt as the 2024 regular season edges ever closer to its inevitable end, Aledo’s soccer clubs control their own destinies. 

The Ladycats (9-7-2 overall, 6-3-1 in district) scored a pair of second-half goals to pull off the 3-1 win over Brewer in the first match of the evening on Tuesday, March 5. In the nightcap, the Bearcats (11-3-6 overall, 3-3-4 in district) came away with their third win in a row via shootout after ending regulation tied at 2 to retain the fourth-place spot in the district.

Aledo’s matchup against the Bears was highly competitive throughout. After nearly 30 minutes and back-and-forth action with neither team able to stake their claim to an advantage, Brewer got their chance to do some damage with 11:15 left in the opening half, scoring on a penalty kick following a collision that sent Aledo goalkeeper Pierce Ling to the bench.

Deagan Dietz, still working his way back from injury, came off the bench to fill in as the Bearcat keeper.

When play resumed in the second half, Aledo pushed the pace in hopes of getting on the board to tie up the match. After Brewer was called for a foul with just over 33 minutes left in the second half, Hunter Waugh stepped up to take the free kick for the home team just inside Brewer territory. 

Waugh sent a nice ball into the box hoping for a teammate to get on the other end of it. Much to his surprise, a teammate didn’t need to get on the other end of it, as the ball snuck past the visiting keeper to tie the match at 1-1 with 33:15 remaining in regulation.

With the match winding to a close, Brewer managed to score the go-ahead goal with just under 13 minutes left to take a late 2-1 advantage. Try as they might, the Bearcats were unable to find a second scoring opportunity in the moments that followed.

As time melted away with less than five minutes remaining, the Bearcats were to the point of desperation. Fortunately, a late foul by the Bears deep in their own territory presented Aledo with the opportunity they needed. 

Austin Randriamahefa took the free kick from just outside the penalty area for the Bearcats. With 3:40 left on the clock, his free kick found the back of the net, tying the match up at 2-2 with a third consecutive shootout looming for the Bearcats.

“I was a little worried when they went up 2-1,” said Aledo head coach Derek Vierling after the match. “What a great free kick Randy had! I thought we deserved to win. I thought we played better than they did. We lost to Saginaw, Northwest, and Brewer in the first half of the district schedule and beat them all three in shootouts in the second half.”

Aledo won the coin flip and chose to go first in the shootout. Randriamahefa easily made his shot to put the Bearcats up 1-0 to start the shootout.

Dietz has been huge in the net for the Bearcats the last two shootouts. Tuesday night was no different. On the first shot for the Bears, Dietz dove to his right, getting his left hand on the ball to keep the Bears off the board in the extra time. 

Cole Crawford, Trapper Davis, Ryan Spriggs, and Brody Gill all put their kicks in with ease from there, as Aledo sealed the deal to put away Brewer.

Hailey Vandiver celebrates with teammate Katie Cox after Cox scored the go-ahead goal for the Ladycats.
Hailey Vandiver celebrates with teammate Katie Cox after Cox scored the go-ahead goal for the Ladycats.

Ladycats strike late

After the match, Ladycats’ head coach Bryan Johnson admitted his squad started off the match more timid than he would’ve liked against the Lady Bears. After taking nearly 30 minutes of play to work out their jitters, Allyson Weimer scored with 12:31 left in the first half to put the hometown team up 1-0. 

While Aledo gained a lead and seemed to settle in, the Lady Bears managed to put in a goal of their own with just over five minutes until the end of the first half to make it 1-1.

As the second half got underway, the Ladycats looked like a team reborn. They dominated possession of the ball, pushed the pace, and had Brewer playing on their heels.

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Aledo’s pressure paid off. Bringing the ball down the visiting side of the field, Georgia Zirbser sent an arching shot into the box hoping to find a teammate who could put a quality shot on the goal. That’s exactly what she found, as Katie Cox caught the leaping header clean for a huge goal that put the Ladycats up, 2-1.

Two minutes later Aledo found themselves with a chance to seal the win with another scoring opportunity. Emaree Gibson made a pass to Zirbser in the middle of the field. Zirbser’s shot was deflected, but Ainsley Elmore beat her marker and the keeper with pure, old-fashioned hustle to score the second goal of the half for Aledo. 

Elmore’s score provided the Ladycats with a much-needed cushion with 23 minutes left to play, as they went on to win 3-1.

“I felt good about what went on tonight,” Johnson said after the match. “I felt good about how we played in the second half. We did some things I wanted to do in the second half. Dropping to outside back shored it up. I feel like that’s something we’re going to have to do. It’s not something I want to do. We’ve moved some girls up, got some pieces now that we’ve been waiting on, and we’ll see what happens.”

What happens from here is that the Aledo soccer clubs will head to Azle on Friday, Mar. 8, to take on the Hornets. For the Bearcats, this matchup is about using the opportunity to shore up any opportunities they have to improve their cohesion and confidence before the playoffs start. 

As for the Ladycats, these last two matches matter. The Lady Hornets are in the hunt for a playoff spot of their own. If Aledo can pull off the win on the road, it will go a long way towards helping them lockdown the No. 2 seed out of District 5-5A with the postseason right around the corner.

The Ladycats will take the pitch in Azle first with kickoff set for 5:30 pm. The Bearcats will follow at 7:30.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here