Fueled by a hat trick from senior Bailey Freeman, the Loyola Prep Lady Flyers pushed their way back into the Division II semifinals with a 3-1 triumph at Neville on Monday night.
Freeman netted all three goals for Loyola in another dominant performance by the Northwestern State University signee.
“She has been a goal scorer all four years,” Loyola coach Mark Matlock said. “She had a good night tonight.”
Loyola kept the pressure on during the game and held possession tight on its end of the field to keep Neville off balance offensively.
“The special players they had were just too difficult for us to deal with,” Neville coach Bret Sanders said. “I thought we had a great game plan going in but even the best game plans are hard to execute against great players.”
Freeman scored in the sixth minute to give the Lady Flyers a 1-0 lead.
After the Lady Tigers leveled things at 1-1 on a Brook Breard goal, Freeman then added two goals in the final 19 minutes of the first half to give the team a commanding 3-1 lead at halftime.
Matlock was pleased with the way his defense kept Neville in check save for a goal scored in the 10th minute of the first half.
“We know (Neville is) dangerous up front and they are good on the ball,” Matlock said. “We wanted to limit their touches and our defense did a good job of that.”
Sanders hopes that the experience will help the Neville program become stronger going forward.
“We have been in this position year in and year out the last 11 years,” Sanders said. “I hope our players expect to be here every year and hopefully we can get back in the semis soon.”
The win advances Loyola Prep into the Division II girls soccer semifinals for the third consecutive season. Loyola Prep was the state runner-up in 2013.
Neville boys take on top seed
The Neville boys soccer team, ranked as the eighth-seed in Division II, will play at No. 1 Beau Chene High School Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Neville advanced to the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over No. 9 St. Thomas More last week.
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