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Soccer hope still alive for Lady Bulldogs
May 09, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Brian Copsey/for the Citizen - Gering junior Kelsea Prieels (No. 10) controls the play during Thursday’s district championship in Holdrege. The Lady Bulldogs were missing some key players but played well, despite the setback. Holdrege took the championship with a score of 2-1 but the Bulldogs earned a wildcard and will play Gretna on Friday at the state tournament.

The top seed Gering Lady Bulldogs’ soccer team, favored to win the Class B District 6 Tournament, were handed a setback last Thursday with a 2-1 loss to Holdrege in the tournament championship match. But thanks to their season record, Gering is headed to the state tournament as a wildcard.

Although the Bulldogs held a 5-to-1 shot ration over the Dusters, Holdrege was able to score when it counted, even as Gering controlled most of the match.

After 40 minutes of play, the match was scoreless at halftime. It took less than a minute into the second half for Gering’s Josie Thompson to find the back of the net to put the team up 1-0.
Despite a strong defense, the Dusters were able to tie the match at 1-1 at the 15 minute mark. Then in the final minute of play Holdrege’s Jenna Gillespie found the net again to put the team up 2-1 as time ran out.

Gering coach Lisa Freeburg changed up the roster for the Holdrege game, as well as the first round game at home against Scottsbluff. Kaylee Sprier, who usually plays midfield, was the goalkeeper in place of Maggie Martin.

“Kaylee has some goalie experience, plus she’s six foot and athletic,” Freeburg said. “She was up for the challenge and really step it up for the team.”

After the game, Freeburg said the team took a minute to themselves to think about what had happened. Although they knew there was an outside possibility of going to the state tournament as a wildcard, no one talked about it. It wasn’t the way any of the team planned to end their season.

Gering ended their season at 13-4. In the Holdrege match, the team had 12 shots on goal compared to four for the Dusters. Bothe teams tallied five corner kicks.

Last Friday, the Nebraska School Activities Association looked at the school records and crunched the numbers. In the end, Gering was awarded a wildcard berth in the state tournament at Creighton University in Omaha.

“It’s an honor to play there,” Freeburg said. “Creighton has a field for soccer only, so it will be a neat experience for us against some good competition.”

Gering’s next match is on Friday, May 10 against Gretna, a team the Lady Bulldogs haven’t faced before. Freeburg said she’ll email some of the coaches that have played them and get some ideas for coming up with a game plan.
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