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Wed., Mar. 8th, 2006  Pedal to the metal:  Lady Bulldogs roll over Lee in showdown of rivals
By Len Hayward
Sports Editor

For about 10 minutes Tuesday afternoon, the Midland High and Lee girls soccer teams were playing about even. Both teams had scoring chances but neither developed a decided advantage.
Then at about that 10 minute mark, the Lady Bulldogs found another gear and the Lady Rebels could not keep up. On the strength of three first half goals, Midland High rolled to a surprising 4-1 District 3-5A victory against their rival at Grande Communications Stadium. Lady Bulldog forward Liz Gates scored the game's first goal in the 16th minute, beating Lee defender Celeste Carruth and striking a shot past Lady Rebel goalkeeper Kayla Weant. That goal came after Midland High began pressuring Lee's defense, and the Lady Bulldogs added three more scores over the next 13 minutes to give themselves plenty of cushion for the rest of the game. "I knew if we brought the same attitude (Tuesday) that we had against (Odessa) Permian last week we'd take care of business," Midland High coach Scott Hodkinson said. "We really didn't shift gears, I just think mentally it took us a while to get into the flow of the game and get used to the speed. Things started happening for us after about 15 minutes." Midland High now finds itself in a solid position for the rest of the season as it's won two of the last three games in the second half against three of the District 3-5A's top four teams and have a 7-2 league mark. Lee, meanwhile, still has some work to do to get into the playoffs after Tuesday's loss, after falling to 6-3 with games still remaining against Permian and San Angelo Central.
And other than Tiffany Richter's 20-yard blast in the 54th minute, the Lady Rebels had trouble generating much of an attack against Midland High, spending most of the day chasing the Lady Bulldogs. "The chances that we did have, we didn't finish them," Lee coach Amanda Melchor said. "They had three chances and they went in. Every reasonable chance they had to score they did. But we can't put our season on one game." After Gates' goal, the Lady Bulldogs were energized and picked up the pace looking to add to the tally. Victoria Lucas scored in 20th minute after she intercepted an attempted clearing pass from Lee's Cheryl Walker and found the back of the net. Weant was away from the goalline when Lucas took the shot after came out to contest an early Lady Bulldog shot. Nine minutes later, Michel Ketter sizzled about a 45-yard free kick that went over Weant's head into the net. The icing on the cake came in the 44th minute when Silver Ford slipped a shot past a charging Weant for a 4-0 advantage. "Whenever we play Lee you know they are going to bring some intensity with them," Hodkinson said. "I was pleased with our effort."