Coming off an 11-5 campaign, runner-up finish in District 4-4A action and bi-district championship, the Brownwood Lady Lions look to make even greater strides in their second season under head coach Alexis Mosqueda.
The Lady Lions’ 2022 season begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday as they welcome Waco La Vega to Gordon Wood Stadium.
“We have high expectations this season,” Mosqueda said. “We did graduate seven seniors last year but the returners that we do have, most of them are starters and they know the field, they know how to play and they play well together.”
Mosqueda was pleased with what see saw from the Lady Lions in preseason scrimmages against Snyder, China Spring and Abilene Wylie.
“They were all really good scrimmages, and the girls played well together,” Mosqueda said. “In the China Spring game they were ahead of us, but we tied them going into halftime. We were playing down essentially but we did a good job of coming back and winning that scrimmage.”
Among the returnees for the Lady Lions are junior Kennedi Johnson, the 4-4A Co-Offensive MVP last year; senior Watts Jones, the district’s Co-Midfielder MVP a year ago; and sophomore Molly Oliver, who was tabbed Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2021. Also back are first-team all-district selections Ibis Alvarado and Ataleigh Constancio, along with second-team choices Adryanna Huerta and Addison Pesina.
“Where we have a bunch of returners is forward and midfield,” Mosqueda said. “They really work well together, they control the ball well and distribute the ball anywhere it needs to go. They’ve played together as they’ve grown up so they know each other and communicate really well on the field.
“The majority of the girls we graduated last year were on our defensive line. We have one starter from our defensive line that didn’t graduate and she’s doing a good job helping the younger girls. I always tell them I like to have a shutdown defense. It has to start in the back and if we can do that we can do win ballgames.”
Among the newcomers to watch, according to Mosqueda, is freshman Alma Bernal.
“Alma has been starting in the place (injured) Reagan Ratliff,” Mosqueda said. “She’s been playing defense but she’s more of a forward or midfield player. She fills in where she’s needed and has done a really good job. She can do anything on the field and is aggressive anywhere she plays and it really shows.”
Following the Lady Lions’ opener against La Vega, Brownwood will compete in the Gatesville tournament this weekend along with pre-district games against Burnet and Lampasas, a trip to the Salado tournament, and outings at San Angelo Lake View, Abilene Cooper and Sweetwater.
“I just want us to continue to work well together,” Mosqueda said of the early season goals. “As long as we can keep the possession the majority of the game it’s going to go in our favor I believe.”
District 4-4A action begins Feb. 11 at home against Graham. The 12-game league slate, which features three games against each foe, wraps up March 15 at reigning league champ and state power Stephenville.
“Our district is the same with Graham, Mineral Wells and Stephenville,” Mosqueda. “Stephenville lost their coach and he did a really good job with those girls. I believe we can compete with them, we went to a shootout with them the first time we played them during district. I have high hopes for us in district.”
As for the key to the Lady Lions making the most out of their 2022 season, Mosqueda said, “The thing they have to do to realize their potential is continue to communicate on and off the field. If they continue to work together and don’t let the little things get in their way, they can do big things. I tell them that every single day. We’re going to face adversity and as long as we can learn to overcome like we did when we played China Spring, anything is possible. Everything that we want, anything that we’re going to accomplish this year is on the other side of hard. It’s not going to be easy, but in the end it’s going to be worth it. If they fully buy into that, we should have a pretty good season.”
|2022 LADY LIONS||SOCCER VARSITY SCHEDULE|
|Jan. 4||Waco La Vega||5:30 p.m.|
|Jan. 7-8||at Gatesville tournament||TBA|
|Jan. 11||Burnet||6 p.m.|
|Jan. 18||Lampasas||5 p.m.|
|Jan. 20-22||at Salado tournament||TBA|
|Jan. 28||at San Angelo Lake View||6 p.m.|
|Feb. 1||at Abilene Cooper||5 p.m.|
|Feb. 4||at Sweetwater||4 p.m.|
|Feb. 11||Graham*||5:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 15||Mineral Wells*||5:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 18||at Stephenville*||5:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 22||at Graham*||5:30 p.m.|
|Feb. 25||at Mineral Wells*||5:30 p.m.|
|March 1||Stephenville*||5:30 p.m.|
|March 4||Graham*||5:30 p.m.|
|March 11||Mineral Wells*||5:30 p.m.|
|March 15||at Stephenville*||5:30 p.m.|
|* District 4-4A game|