Lady Cats fall to Greenville in home opener
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Jan. 17, 2006 - After a split at the Ennis tournament this past weekend, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats (2-3) home opener was not what head coach J.J. Williams wanted to see in a 3-0 loss to the Greenville Lady Lions Monday night.

"We did have some missed opportunities, but Greenville is a good team and they played well," the coach said. "We weren't able to capitalize on some shots that should have gone in, but the goalie made some good saves."

The Lady Cats will now prepare for their second tournament of the year with the Richardson Tournament Jan. 19-21, and Williams said the practices will be tough this week.

"We are going to have to play hard, stay spread out and pass the ball around, and if we can't spread it out we really don't have much of a chance against the Dallas teams," he said. 

"We are going to have to practice like we have a purpose and all of the slacking off has to quit. We are going to go hard this week and hopefully we will come out with at least a trophy."

Greenville (2-2) got on the scoreboard early in the game as Brooklyn Parker gave them a 1-0 lead on a rebound shot off the post with 32:11 remaining in the first half.

The Lady Cats had opportunities to either tie the game or take the lead as junior Gayle Grand-Leinard missed two penalty kicks, had one free kick and two break-away attempts stopped by Greenville. 

Sulphur Springs' Sarah Goldsmith had a rebound attempt on Grand-Leinard's first penalty kick stopped by Katherine Jones.

Williams said Grand-Leinard had some injuries during the game.

"She was complaining at the half about shin splints and that she wasn't at full speed," the coach said. "She didn't have the extra kick that she usually has and those shin splints will go away."

Sulphur Springs also had injuries to Bonnie Grafton and Maria Zuniga during the game and are without junior Erica Verner for three weeks due to injuries suffered at Ennis.

Greenville extended its lead as Sierra Rodriguez nailed a free kick that bounced off of teammate Jana Harrison and past goalie Kai'la Petty with 9:11 remaining in the first half for the 2-0 advantage.

With 29 minutes remaining in the game, Grand-Lienard was taken down by a Greenville defender in the box on a breakaway attempt as no penalty was called on the play, and she received a yellow card after the play.

Williams said the card was worthy for his player.

"I really don't know what happened there and I know Gayle had some back-talk to the ref and she got yellow carded."

With 6:55 remaining in the contest, Greenville's Maci Bradford nailed a goal past Petty for the 3-0 finale.

Petty finished the game with 12 saves, while Jones and back-up goalie Amanda Isham combined for 12 saves for Greenville.

The Lady Cats' next home game will be in the opening round of the Snowball Classic Jan. 26-28, with their district opener Feb. 10 at North Lamar.

"We've got a lot better games to play this season, and the district season is the most important thing for us right now," Williams said.

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