Kingwood Park Lady Panthers head to the playoffs on a hot streak
3/26/2018 7:53 PM

The Kingwood Park girls soccer team won its first district game 7-1 over Barbers Hill on Jan. 26. The Lady Panthers won their final district game 4-0 over Dayton on March 20.

In between those two, they won their other eleven district games, as the Lady Panthers finished the regular season as undefeated District 21-5A champions.

"That's an accomplishment in and of itself," said coach Jess White. "It's not just about who's the best on any given night, but who plays the most consistently over the season."

Kingwood Park only allowed two goals in district play and shut out its opponent 11 times. The Lady Panthers scored 57 goals.

Kingwood Park has not lost since Jan. 12 (going into their final match, a non-district game against La Porte).

That game was the second of back-to-back 3-2 losses to Jasper and Crowley.

Those would be the only two games the Lady Panthers would lose all season.

"I think that it [the two losses] gave us an incentive to know that we needed to really get our heads on straight and really start focusing on what was important," said senior Alyssa Godsey. "Back then we were a good team, but we weren't as good as we are now, and it really got us going."

"I think if we played them now, we would beat them," added junior Taylor Debrosky.

White sees depth as one of the team's biggest strengths.

Three players have double-digit goals: sophomore Mia Wehby with 16, junior Allie Byrd with 11, and senior Hayden Overstreet with 10.

Several players have five or more assists.

"We're multi-dimensional," said White. "A lot of different people can put the ball in the back of the net, and they are willing to share the ball."

After advancing to the regional semifinals in 2016, Kingwood Park lost 2-1 to Lumberton in the first round of the playoffs in 2017.

"That has definitely given us a drive knowing that we don't want to be back there," said Debrosky. "We don't want that feeling again, so I think that really pushes us to keep working harder."

Despite Kingwood Park playing in five playoff games over the past two years, Debrosky said she still gets nervous before and during a playoff game, much more so than she does for a regular season game.

"You have to focus on the game and nothing else, and you can't let the nerves get to you," she said. "It's hard to put into words how not to let the nerves get to you, but I think it's really just putting in the effort and the focus."

As a senior in her last playoffs, Godsey wants to leave everything she has on the field.

Godsey said the team has a lot of confidence and momentum coming off their long winning streak and that the team is looking to build off that confidence and momentum.

"It just kind of starts us out on the right foot," said Godsey. "We know what we're capable of, and we know that what we can achieve is awesome."

"Come support us through the playoffs," Godsey said. "We want to make it far, and we want our fans to be with us."

Kingwood Park's Bi-District playoff game is on Thursday, March 29 against Vidor at Texan Drive Stadium in Porter at 7 P.M.

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