Panthers avenge last year’s playoff loss, look toward Friday night lights


Maya Ortiz

Elizabeth Carvajal celebrates at the end of regulation in the Area championships with Emmy Segura and Brianna Quiararte.

Rhian Davis, Staff Writer

In the Area playoff game against Austin Anderson on Tuesday night, the girls soccer team won 1-0. Freshman Krisslyn Boyles scored the game-winning shot, solidifying her team’s place in the Regional Quarterfinals. 

Just hours before the win, the team was facing complications. An hour into the ride to Bellville High School, the team’s bus broke down. Coach Jess White drove for as long as he could before he eventually had to pull over to ensure the safety of the team.

“It could have been worse,” White said. “It could always be worse. I was proud of the girls. They kept it pretty lighthearted.”

The bus sat on the side of the road for an hour as the coaches worked to find a solution. White was in contact with Bellville ISD to get a new bus and assistant coach Luke Gorney worked with team mom Laura Tiedtke to get players to a nearby Subway. The only thing the girls could do was sit and wait.

“At first I thought it was kind of funny when the bus broke down and we were going two miles an hour,” senior captain Kathleen Ortiz said. “The vibes were really good, especially for something bad happening.”

The team was finally saved when staff from Bellville ISD showed up and fixed the bus. The girls were restless at that point and relief washed over them as they realized they would finally be getting dinner.

“I kind of felt ready to play and I wanted to go to Subway because I was pretty hungry,” Boyles said.

Last year, Austin Anderson beat the Panthers in round two of playoffs. This year the team was determined for the outcome to be different.

“I remember the game last year really well so I used a lot of my knowledge from the last time playing them for this game,” Ortiz said. “I went in with a lot of confidence because of the way that we had changed our formation to four backs. I think that really benefited us in the game.”

Boyles scored in the second half of the game off of a corner kick from Ortiz. The girls on the sidelines stood up and cheered and they didn’t sit down for the rest of the game. As soon as the clock ran out, they were on the field celebrating.

We have to be true to our plan and be disciplined and composed. If we do those things then we’ll put ourselves in a good position.

— coach Jess White

“I can’t describe that feeling,” said sophomore Lexi Villenueva, who tore her ACL earlier in the season. “Even though I can’t play, I still have so much joy for the team.”

The Regional Quarterfinal game will take place against Magnolia at Turner Stadium on Friday night at 8 p.m. The team hasn’t played at Turner since 2019; and with new turf, it’s a whole new field. 

“That’s one variable that the teams don’t have to worry about,” White said. “We can’t control the weather or anything else, but the playing surface and the facility itself are fantastic.”

White described Magnolia as a team with a distinct style and a team full of skilled attackers. The two teams have never faced each other in a playoff game before and the stakes are high. 

“We have to be true to our plan and be disciplined and composed,” White said. “If we do those things then we’ll put ourselves in a good position.”

Three Humble ISD girls soccer teams will play at Turner Stadium on Friday. The Kingwood Park-Magnolia game is set to follow the Atascocita vs. Kingwood game. The Panthers are hopeful that some of the crowd from the first game will will stay to watch their game. And since Turner is so close to home, they hope more fans come to watch. 

“I like an audience and I think it’s fun to play in front of people,” Ortiz said.

White hopes that playing at Turner is a positive for the team and he hopes they are able to leave any anxieties behind once they step on the field. 

“We’re gonna give everything we have,” White said. “We’re gonna put it all on the field and whatever happens, happens.”