Boy, Oh, Boyd: Top-ranked Lady Broncos end SSHS girls' season

By JIMMY ROGERS | News-Telegram Correspondent

Mar. 23, 2007 - McKINNEY - Scoring her 32nd goal of the season, Lady Cat senior Gayle Grand-Lienard ended the McKinney Boyd Lady Broncos' 13-game shutout streak but not their litany of wins.

The Lady Broncos (17-2-5) defeated the Lady Cats (12-6-2) with a bi-district 10-1 goal-fest Thursday night at Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney.

Grand-Lienard's goal came on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute of the game. A Lady Bronco handball in the 18-yard box granted the PK.

Other than the handball in the box, the Boyd defensive unit was flawless, even producing one of the Lady Broncos' 10 goals in a coast-to-coast run by sweeper Kathryn Williamson. Williamson is one of a defensive set that has played together for nine years, according to the Boyd coaching staff.

Even though McKinney's Boyd High School is in its first year, the soccer team is not. They have played together at McKinney North prior to transferring to Boyd. Boyd had been forced to forfeit two district games during the season due to a failure to file the appropriate transfer papers for a player. Those two forfeitures cost them the District 15-4A championship. Almost all of the Boyd team has played on the same club team during the nine-year period.

�All their girls play club ball. It's tough to come over here when our girls don't get the same experiences,� Lady Cat head coach Martin Bryant stated post-game. �I'm proud of our girls and the way that we fought.�

In addition, compete, they did. The Lady Cat offense, which had scored 16 goals in the last three games and had not lost to a non-playoff 4-A team during the regular season, continued the attack against the Boyd defensive wall all night, but could not clear the height or speed of the Lady Broncos.

Managing only two shots on goal in the first half, Lady Cat efforts could not penetrate to get a shot on goal in the second but it was not from lack of effort. Lady Cat strikers Grand-Lienard, Karli Junot and Ana Sanchez along with midfielders Bonnie Grafton and Shelbi Elkin moved the ball well through the midfield but found the Boyd defensive backs a well-fortified line.

Sulphur Springs goalie Kai'la Petty saw her busiest night of the season. She provided 20 saves for the night including 15 in the first half.

Lady Cat right defender Erica Verner was removed from the field by stretcher and transported to McKinney's Medical Center Hospital in the 63rd minute of play. Verner, who has sustained two sports-related concussions this year, became dizzy and could not see well, according to Bryant.

�I'm sure that it stems from what happened against North Lamar during district play," he said. "I didn't see it, but they said she took another hit to the head tonight.�

Boyd scored three of its 10 goals after Verner left the game. Devyn Cullins' valiant defensive effort was not enough to stop Bronco scoring.

The first goal for the Lady Broncos was credited to Boyd sophomore Hailey Shelpuk. Shelpuk's strike came in the third minute of play after Petty had left the goal to successfully stymie an attack. The ball bounced off Petty to the feet of Shelpuk. Her shot was kicked away at the goal line by Lady Cat defender Brittany Lamphere, but her save ricocheted into the goal off Petty who was returning to the six-yard box.

Boyd produced three additional goals in the first half and put the ball in the netting six times in the second.

Boyd will see their entire team return next year. The first-year school has no seniors.

The Lady Cats lose six starters as they look to next year.f

Coach Bryant said, “It's going to be tough. We're losing six starters and you don't just replace six starters. We have some young kids that are good, but we have to work to get to the level we are at this year.”

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