|Hat trick for Gayle Grand-Lienard in Snowball Classic action|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Jan. 28, 2006 - Gayle Grand-Lienard kicked in a hat trick and Kai'la Petty notched a shutout, but the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats won't be playing today.
The Lady Cats beat Athens, 4-0, Friday afternoon in the their third pool game of the Snowball Classic they are hosting, but had the tables turned on them in a 5-0 loss to a good Mesquite squad later that day.
The loss to Mesquite kept the Lady Cats (4-6-3) from advancing to the championship bracket of the Snowball Classic, which was scheduled today at Gerald Prim Stadium.
SSHS 4, Athens 0
Grand-Lienard didn't do it all offensively, but she certainly did enough. The SSHS junior had three goals and assisted on the fourth as the Lady Cats scored three times in the second half to put away the game which was played at Coleman Park.
Petty had seven saves in goal and got help from Sarah Petty, McKenzie Kelty and D'Kota Hutchings in turning back the Athens' attack.
Grand-Lienard scored the team's first goal midway through the first half when she dribbled around two defenders from the left side and then shot the ball past the diving goalie into the right side of the net.
The team went into halftime with a 1-0 lead after Sarah Petty headed away an Athens free kick from 12 yards out, and then helped keep the Lady Hornets away from the rebound.
Grand-Lienard made the score 2-0 at the 17:00 mark of the second half when she dribbled up field for about 30 yards before cleanly knocking the ball past the charging goalie. Her third goal was another beauty as she dribbled down, got cut off, then regained control on the right side and slipped a shot past the goalie for a 3-0 SSHS lead.
The final score came with about two minutes to play when Sarah Goldsmith sent the ball ahead to Grand-Lienard, who floated an assist to the face of the goal where Morgan Baima bumped it in.
Mesquite 5, SSHS 0
The Lady Cats needed to win or at least score four goals against Mesquite to advance, but the Lady Skeeters were just too physical and too good.
Kai'la Petty had 14 saves in goal, but Mesquite took 28 shots, compared to four for the Lady Cats.
Mesquite scored three times in the first half, one on a nice shot over Petty to the top of the net, another on a free kick, and the third on a one-on-one shot from about 10 yards out.
The Lady Cats had few chances to score. All four of their attempts - two by Grand-Lienard and one each by Andrea Cordova and Baima - went wide of the pipes.
Tough defensive play by Kelty, Maribel Sanchez and Petty kept the score from being worse, and when Hutchings marked up a Lady Hornet with about four minutes to go, it ended Mesquite's final scoring chance.
The Lady Cats return to action on Monday when they take on Como-Pickton at Ron Heflin Field in a varsity-only match set to begin at 5:30 p.m.