Lady Eagles use 3 second half goals to top La VerniaFree Access

PLEASANTON—With the District 29-4A championship secured, the only regular-season achievement left for the Pleasanton girls soccer team is finishing undefeated in league play.

The Lady Eagles are now one win away.

Pleasanton scored three goals in the second half to break a deadlock and top La Vernia 4-1 at the Eagle Complex. The win—the fourth over the Lady Bears this season—moved the Lady Eagles to 5-0 in district with one game remaining before the playoffs.

“I’m glad we got this win for the rest of our seniors,” Pleasanton forward Addy Llamas said. “It was a really good game. I’m glad that we’re done playing them.”

Six minutes into the second half, Carly Esquivel scored the go-ahead goal for a 2-1 Pleasanton advantage. Esquivel took advantage of a poor clearance by La Vernia in its box.

Renata Osorio extended the lead with the goal of the match 16 minutes later. The freshman found the back of the net on a bending shot from 25 yards out.

“[The goal] was beautiful,” Pleasanton coach Brant Bird said. “She’s worked really hard. That transition from junior high to varsity level is a big leap, so she’s come a long way throughout the season.”

With two minutes remaining, Llamas—one of four seniors—capped the scoring to highlight Senior Night for the Lady Eagles.

“It was the coolest thing ever,” she said. “My heart was pounding so fast. It was the best feeling, and it was a great way to end my last home game here.”

The teams were tied at halftime after a breakaway score by Madelyn Bird and an own goal by Pleasanton.

Bird raced past the Lady Bears defense off a Zoei Diaz assist and beat the goalie for a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game. Bird also finished with two assists.

In the 17th minute, La Vernia got on the board courtesy of an own goal. The Lady Bears sent the first corner kick of the match into the box, where a Pleasanton player knocked it in.

La Vernia had its share of chances in the first half but could not capitalize despite controlling possession. The Lady Eagles turned the tables after halftime, taking over as the aggressors.

“I think that our fitness really paid off in the second half,” Brant Bird said. “We make a real point during the season to put an emphasis on our fitness. That’s paid off all four times we’ve played La Vernia.”

Pleasanton (13-4-1) will close the regular season Friday at Somerset. The Lady Eagles, ranked No. 7 in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, beat the Lady Bulldogs 5-0 in their last meeting.

“I’m excited,” Brant Bird said. “We’re healthy, so if we can maintain that as we go into the playoffs, I think we’ll have a good chance to make a long run.”

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