By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Maddy Crabtree scored the first and last goals but the Greenville Lady Lions still dropped their Class 4A bi-district soccer match to Little Elm 4-2 on Tuesday.
Cecily Rivas of Little Elm answered Crabtree’s two goals with four goals to send the 5-11-1 Lady Lobos to the area round of the playoffs.
Greenville, the District 19-4A champion for the third straight season, finished at 13-9-1.
“That’s definitely not the outcome I was looking for or expecting,” said Lady Lions coach Caree McKethan.
The Lady Lions were hoping to become the first GHS girls soccer team to ever win a playoff match and got off to a fast start when Crabtree took a pass from Priscilla Carrillo, worked around a couple of defenders, got the Little Elm goalkeeper to move up from the goal and then blasted the ball into the middle of the net for the game’s first goal at the 35:47 mark. It was the Lady Lions’ first playoff goal in school history and Carrillo’s 14th assist of the season.
The Lady Lions kept the pressure on Little Elm’s defense for much of the first half as Viridiana Chavez was close to scoring on a shot and Crabtree had a shot bounce off the left lower post.
A defensive lapse allowed Rivas to tie the game at 1-1 with 28 seconds left before halftime with a shot into the right corner of the net.
Greenville goalkeeper Jenny Hardaway turned Rivas back on a penalty kick early in the second half, guessing correctly on a dive to Hardaway’s right to knock the ball away.
But Rivas would not be denied on three shots in a 10-minute span, scoring the last two after Greenville defenders under pressure sent shots right back at Little Elm’s No. 17.
Crabtree, who has signed with Texas Tech, turned up her intensity during the last six minutes. The Greenville senior scored with 5:32 remaining on a shot that hit the bottom of the crossbar but still made it into the net. It was her 33rd goal this season, giving her 62 goals during the last two seasons.
Crabtree battled the Lobos to the final second, sending a shot into the net that the officials ruled was too late to count.
“She’s a phenomenal player,” said McKethan. “The whole game all I heard (from the Little Elm coaches) was, ‘Find her, find her.’”
Little Elm, which finished fourth in District 20-4A Highland Park, Carrollton Creekview and The Colony, advances to play either Frisco Liberty or Sherman.