LITTLE ELM — On senior night at Braswell, the Lady Bengals were hungry to avenge a 2-1 loss to Denton back on Feb. 5. The Lady Broncos entered Tuesday’s game jostling for playoff position.
Braswell (5-12-2, 1-7-1 District 8-5A) broke through first midway through the second half and had control of the game, but Denton (9-6-3, 5-3-2) netted a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw.
“From the first whistle, these girls were ready to go and they played one of their best games of the year,” Braswell coach Caleb Blakely said. “We just tied a really good team, but a lot of girls are dejected because it feels like a loss. The girls just came to play for the seniors tonight, and those seniors have been through a lot.”
The Lady Bengals’ goal came off of a corner kick with 21:56 remaining when Abbey Hill sent in a ball that was finished by senior captain Kinsley Coward.
The goal forced Denton to become even more aggressive despite posting more shots than the Lady Bengals to that point. With 3:09 left, Madi Autwell got an open chance at the top of the box after dribbling into space. Autwell put the shot into the top right corner to tie the game.
For the game, the Lady Broncos unofficially had 17 shots with 10 on target while Braswell finished with eight shots and three on target.
Denton coach Matthew Speight saw his team struggle for the majority of the game.
“It took us 77 minutes to wake up,” Speight said. “Braswell wanted this game and played better than us for 77 minutes. It’s hard playing in-district teams and we knew Braswell was going to come out strong, and they played great soccer while we escaped with a tie.”
For most of the match, the two defenses snuffed out any threat near the box, forcing a majority of shots to come from outside the box.
While Braswell is out of the playoff picture, for Denton making the Class 5A playoffs has become even more difficult with two games remaining against teams right above the Lady Broncos in the standings.
“In this district, anybody can win on any given night,” Speight said. “We have to finish well with two games left. The girls are going to have to think about tonight’s [game] and come back and beat Little Elm or Lake Dallas — or both — to get into the playoffs.”