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A&M-Texarkana falls short to Celts in title game

A&M-Texarkana falls short to Celts in title game

November 11th, 2017 by Bob Krayl in College Sports

All good things must come to an end sometimes, and it did for the Texas A&M University-Texarkana Lady Eagles soccer team Friday evening at Eagles Field.

After its best season ever (14-6-1) the Eagles' season ended with a 1-0 defeat to the St. Thomas Celts (Houston, Texas) in the championship game of the Red River Athletic Conference.

Chelsea York scored on a head shot with 29:20 left in the contest.

It was the second straight shutout by Celts' goaltender Emma Pinkerton as the Celts defeated No. 1 seed LSU-Alexandria, 1-0, in overtime Friday.

A&M-Texarkana advanced to the finals with a 3-0 victory over Wiley
College.

St. Thomas (11-5-2) advances to the nationals next week in Alabama.

The Celts avenged an earlier loss to the Eagles, 2-0.

"They made some changes, and their adjustments made a big difference for them," Lady Eagles coach Don Koontz
said.

"They are a good team and deserve credit for the victory," Koontz added. "We'll be rooting for them in the
nationals."

It was an offensive struggle for both teams in the first half with very few real good scoring opportunities.

St. Thomas was more aggressive, controlling most of the action in the first half with seven shots on goal. Eagles' goalie Tinotenda Charuma made two nice
saves.

St. Thomas threatened early in the second half when York's shot went wide of the net. The Celts intercepted the throw-in, and had another chance but missed Mariana Sanches with a pass in front of the
net.

A&M-Texarkana showed more offense in the second half, but didn't have many real good shots on goal. Emilee Bybee had a couple of shots, but was turned away by the Celts goalie.

The Celts finally got on the scoreboard with 29:20 left in the contest. Siobhan
Higgins tossed the ball in from the right corner, and York was there in front of the net and her header scored to the upper right-hand
corner.

With about 12 minutes left, the Eagles Olivia Okoye got in close, but the shot was kicked away by Pinkerton.

The Eagles received a big break when the Celts Alexis Morelion was given a red card and the Celts were playing one person short the remaining 5:45 of the
contest.

A&M-Texarkana controlled the action the rest of the way with Hazel Espinoza,
Samantha Sharpnack-Isom, Bybee, and Okoye applying the pressure. But the Celts' smothering defense denied a few scoring
chances.

"We missed our opportunities, and they capitalized on their goal," Koontz said. "We have to give them credit. It was going to take a special play to beat them."

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