Comeback Season

Kingwood’s offensive firepower key to deep playoff run

Kingwood has won two UIL Girls Soccer State Championships. Vype

Kingwood women’s soccer is not new to piecing together a successful season year in and year out.

Last year, the Lady Mustangs advanced all the way to the Region III-6A Semifinal match against eventual state qualifier Katy Tompkins.

This season, a collision course of this same magnitude is in the cross hairs for Kingwood as it continues its march through the playoffs.

But this year that meeting could go differently mainly because the way Kingwood is scoring – an average of 4.2 goals per game.

“Our offense last year was pretty good,” Kingwood coach Pres Holcombe said. “Colleen was one of our forwards and she’s lightening fast. Emma was also a varsity player last year but this year she has stepped into a bigger role tremendously. She scored four goals in our first playoff game, which is crazy.

“So in the attack with her and Alex Dumas and Carly Stroud, we have a very powerful offense.”

Kingwood wrapped up its remarkable 28th-straight District Championship on March 23 with a 5-0 win against C.E. King.

The Lady Mustangs finished District 21-6A play with a mark of 13-0-1.

“We wanted to end district really well because it sets you up for playoffs,” Kingwood sophomore Emma Ebert said. “We wanted to make sure we ended it strongly and kept our streak.”

Ebert has been a big key to why Kingwood’s offense has soared in 2018.

The sophomore in district play alone netted 14 goals and recorded five assists. For the season, Ebert is second on the team with 24 goals and 11 assists.

“I think I’ve grown more confident this year since it’s my second year,” Ebert said. “I’ve been working on my accuracy more this year. Last year I missed a lot, this year I’ve been focusing on that.”

Along with Ebert, Stephen F Austin commit Colleen Feagins has continued her impressive career with another stellar season.

Feagins, the reigning District 21-6A Offensive MVP, leads Kingwood with 27 goals and 14 assists.

The offensive juggernaut that Kingwood has created this season, outscoring opponents 30-1 in the final six district contests, has been a big help to first-year goalkeeper Mikayla Carlos.

“We have a really great offense, their shots are amazing.” Carlos said. “Trying to save them in practice is a challenge for me and so I feel like I’ve gotten better as a keeper trying to save their goals.”

In district play, Carlos allowed just four goals and made 21 saves. Overall on the year, Carlos let by seven goals, while making 49 saves.

The combination of the offensive firepower of Feagins, Ebert and also add in Alex Dumas (9 goals) and Carly Stroud (6 goals) and the defensive prowess of the back line and play of Carlos in goal makes Kingwood a dangerous team.

Kingwood enters the second round of the playoffs ranked No. 6 in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association poll. The only two Houston programs in front of them in the rankings are No. 4 Cinco Ranch and No. 1 The Woodlands.

Kingwood will try and get back to the Region III Tournament again in hopes of reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2002.

“Last year since it was my first year, I really didn’t know what to expect or what I was going into,” Ebert said about playing as a freshman last year. “But this year I feel more confident knowing what’s going to happen and what we’re going to go through.”

Kingwood has won two UIL Girls Soccer State Championships in program history in 1995 and 1999.

Kingwood faces George Ranch in the Area round of the 2018 playoffs today at 5 p.m. at Challenger Stadium.

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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