Rattlers bounce back from loss, blank Brahmas
By Terrence ThomasMarch 12, 2015 Updated: March 12, 2015 8:04pm
Coming off a rare district loss, its lead in the race for the District 26-6A championship now somewhat untenable, the Reagan girls soccer team found itself in unfamilar territory.
Julia Thiel provided a reboot that put the Rattlers back on course.
The sophomore’s opportunistic goal just before halftime jump-started top-ranked Reagan past No. 4 MacArthur 3-0 on Thursday at Blossom Stadium. The win puts Reagan on the cusp of winning its sixth district title in seven seasons. The Rattlers (15-2-2, 9-1-1) also won in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
“It just shows the character, the passion, the goal that these girls have,” Reagan coach Frankie Whitlock said of her team bouncing back after having a 29-game unbeaten streak in district play snapped during Monday’s 2-1 loss to Churchill. “They shook it off, they didn’t let it get them down, because the next game is the most important.”
Reagan seized control in the latter stages of the first half after MacArthur (12-3-3, 7-1-2), which had its 14-game unbeaten streak snapped and lost for the first time since Jan. 16, earned four cornerkicks and appeared poised to strike first. Nicole Galan’s shot with 5½ minutes left in the first half hit off a post and caromed to an opening on the right side of the penalty area, where Thiel made a dash to the ball and put in a shot for the game-winner.
“There wasn’t really much going through my mind, except put the ball in the back of the net,” Thiel said. “I was like, ‘This could be our only chance. I’ve got to get there as fast as I could and try to make something from it.’ I’m just happy I could be there.”
The Rattlers added two second-half goals to round out the scoring. Sam Batley scored on an arcing shot from 20 yards out to make it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, and Galan scored in the 74th minute off a scramble inside the penalty area.
Reagan 1, MacArthur 0: Derek Burris put in a pass from Will Haynes only 6 1/2 minutes into the game as the No. 7 Rattlers (13-4-2, 8-2-1) moved into first place in 26-6A.
Reagan is three points ahead Lee (12-4-3, 7-2-1) with two league games remaining, and the teams meet Tuesday at Comalander Stadium for the district title.
Aganist No. 8 MacArthur (7-9-2, 5-3-2), Burris found space in the defense, ran onto a pass from Haynes and calming put in the game-winner. It was a quick strike that the Rattlers never looked back from.
“We were just trying to start fast, and play as a team,” Burris said.