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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Kennedale claims first ever 4A Soccer State Title

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In the newly created 4A soccer division in Texas, the first title game was played Thursday at Birkebach Field in Georgetown, Texas. It featured the Kennedale LadyKats (24-2-2), winners of Region 1 and the Princeton Panthers (22-5-2) winners of Region 2. Kennedale came away with the title, 4-1. {{more}}
Kennedale game plan: come out fast and furious, apply relentless pressure and let no one push you around. Note to Coach Strange: it worked.

Kennedale completely controlled the first 40 minute, forcing Princeton to circle the wagons around their goalkeeper while the LadyKats rained shots at the net. Just as Kennedale was applying the offensive pressure, the defense was stifling. Princeton rarely got the ball beyond midfield.

Another key strategy of the game for Kennedale was to shut down the opposing team?s offensive star. It work in the Melissa game and it worked here. Princeton?s biggest scoring threat, Kensey Thomas, hardly touched the ball. She was dogged all game long if not by one Kennedale player, sometimes two maybe three. Kensey scored the winning goal against Jasper in the semifinal on Wednesday. She did an assist on Princeton?s lone goal.
Kennedale?s Allie Thornton, the tournament MVP, who provided bookend goals for Kennedale, scored the first goal of the at the 28 minute mark in the first half. She had just missed earlier after driving the length of the field and sending one bouncing off the top post.
Lady Kat Alondra Olmos, who seemed to be everywhere, got her first goal of two for the day with a 16 yard kick midway through the 1st half.
The half wrapped up with Kennedale with 13 shots, 3 on goal and Princeton 2 shots and 1 on goal. Kennedale?s goalkeeper, Sara Vazquez, had a lot of private time to herself.
In the second half of play, leading 2-0, Kennedale adopted a less aggressive approach which allowed Princeton to move the ball more. Alondra scored her second goal of the day 8 minutes into the 2nd half with a dazzling corner kick that literally curved back toward the goal and into the net off the hands of two defenders. Kennedale led 3-0.
A few minutes later, Princeton got their only goal of the game that sparked new life into the Princeton team. However, Thornton?s 37 yarder with 7 minutes in the game, was the defining response. Kennedale won the game, won the tournament and won the state title by a score of 4-1.
A dream season.

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