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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Houston drops the game to Arizona

D-backs outslug Greinke and Astros to take series opener

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

With the series win over the Rangers by taking two of three games in the middle of the week, the Astros welcomed the Diamondbacks to Minute Maid Park for a three-game weekend series, Houston's final three regular-season home games. Here is how the opener unfolded:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3.

Record: 25-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zac Gallen (2-2, 3.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luis Garcia (0-1, 2.53 ERA).

Houston scores first, but Arizona grabs a lead against Greinke

Houston would get on the board first on Friday night, with George Springer reaching base in the bottom of the first on an error, moving to second on a walk, then to third on a single, as the Astros loaded the bases with no out to threaten a big inning. Instead, they would come away with just one run, with Springer taking home on a wild pitch, grabbing the 1-0 lead, but leaving runs on the table.

They doubled their lead in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out RBI-double by Kyle Tucker to make it a 2-0 Houston lead. The D-backs responded in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before a three-run homer by Kole Calhoun off of Zack Greinke would put Arizona in front, 3-2. Greinke would finish one more inning before Houston would move to their bullpen, striking out the side to bring his total to nine on the night, making the bad fourth inning the one blemish on his night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 89 P.

Astros tie it, but D-backs take the opener

George Springer would get Greinke off the hook in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the half-inning with a solo bomb to tie the game at 3-3. Luis Garcia was first out of Houston's bullpen and retired Arizona in order for a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh but would allow a leadoff single, RBI-triple, and wild pitch to bring in two runs. He would face two more batters, allowing a double and getting a strikeout, before Dusty Baker would come out to get him, now down 5-3.

Blake Taylor would make his return from the IL after Garcia, getting back-to-back outs to finish the inning. He continued on in the 5-3 game in the top of the eighth, but allowed a one-out solo homer to Calhoun, his second of the night and fourth RBI. That made it a 6-3 D-backs lead, which would go final as Houston would go scoreless after Springer's home run back in the fifth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Saturday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup will be Luke Weaver (1-7, 6.70 ERA) for Arizona and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.22 ERA) for Houston.

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