|Lady Cats fall to last place Pleasant Grove, 5-1|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
March 8, 2006 - With two of their final three soccer games against the top teams in the district, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats needed to take advantage of last place Pleasant Grove on Tuesday.
The advantage, though, did not go to Sulphur Springs.
Pleasant Grove, winless in six previous District 13-4A games, looked like the team that was fighting for a playoff berth in a 5-1 victory over the Lady Cats at Gerald Prim Stadium.
Sulphur Springs (8-11-3 overall) lost for the fourth consecutive time and fell to 3-4 in district. They held onto third place with nine points because Mount Pleasant (eight points) and North Lamar (seven points) also lost.
Pleasant Grove got two goals each from Jessica Flint and Jackie Hastings in going up 5-0 before Sulphur Springs junior Gayle Grand-Lienard knocked in the Lady Cats' only goal with less than 14 minutes to play.
Flint scored the first goal with just 2:03 gone in the game, and Pleasant Grove's Melissa Jacobson added a left-footed goal five minutes later as the Lady Hawks took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Sulphur Springs had chances to score - including a penalty kick from 14 yards out by Grand-Lienard in the second half - but PG goal keeper Jillian McCullough made 12 saves before being injured and replaced for the final 13 minutes of the game.
The Lady Cats had their injuries, too. Starters Bonnie Grafton and Sarah Goldsmith were both out, and Robin Grafton got head-butted in the second half and had to leave the game and change jerseys because she was bleeding. No foul was called.
Sulphur Springs took 30 shots on goal, compared to 20 for Pleasant Grove, but just couldn't find the back of the net.
It looked like the Lady Cats would score before halftime when Grand-Lienard had a shot from 15 yards out, but the ball went just wide, then Robin Grafton's left-footed one-timer was wide left just a few minutes later.
The second half was more of the same. The Lady Cats took 16 shots, but scored just once.
Sulphur Springs now faces a must-win game against Mount Pleasant on Friday at Sam Parker Field. The JV begins at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity starting at 7 p.m.