Special to The Flash
by Tommy Wells, Public Information Officer for Ranger College
Heading into their 2015 regular season finale, Emilie Linares knew she and the rest of the Ranger College Lady Rangers’ soccer team were on the verge of history. All they had to do was play well and they honor of becoming the winningest women’s soccer team in the college’s history was theirs.
They can mark that mission accomplished.
Backed by a booming goal by sophomore Emma Donohoe midway through the second half, the Ranger College women pounded out a thrilling 1-0 victory over Western Texas College in front of a large crowd at Ranger Field.
“I think we played like a team and executed when we had to,” said Linares, a freshman from Pasadena, Texas. “We wanted to win this one badly.”
With the victory, the Lady Rangers improved to 9-5-2 for the season and shattered the program’s previous best for wins in a single season, which was set in 2011. The team also cinched a better winning percentage than the 2011 squad, which finished at 8-7 that fall following a first-round loss in the Region V tournament.
The record-setting win didn’t come easy, however. Ranger struggled to break Western Texas’ defensive pressure in the first 45 minutes of the contest.
That all changed in the second half.
“I think they played a really good second half,” said RC head coach Jaime Beltran. “They came out and were totally dominant in the second.”
Just how dominant? Consider this: RC goalkeeper Merisa Garrigan needed to touch the ball just one time in the final 45 minutes of the contest.
Donohoe, a put the Lady Rangers on to at the 60-minute mark of the second half by punching home a loose ball on a corner kick. On the play, freshman Rebecca Beech kicked the ball in from the corner. Sophomore Abigail Haston managed to deflect the kick with her head toward Donohoe, who alertly booted the ball into the net.
“Abi got the ball to her and Emma finished the play,” said Linares.
The victory also secured Ranger College a berth in the upcoming Region V tournament, which will be held next week in Cisco. The Lady Rangers will enter the event as the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, depending on the result of games by Hill College and Cisco later this week.