By Jim Irish
The Bastrop girls soccer team’s advance to the state playoffs this season included a bi-district victory over Richards School for Young Women Leaders 4-2.
The playoff soccer victory was Bastrop’s first since 2011. The Eagles finished fourth in District 23-5A with a 7-6-1 mark
Seven Bastrop athletes received accolades from 23-5A coaches.
Rebecca McFarland, a 5-foot-2 senior, was selected MVP at goalkeeper and also all-district first team. In district, she allowed 2.0 goals a game with 88 saves.
"She is fearless coming off the (goal)line."
-- Bastrop girls soccer coach Leslie Rangel describing goalkeeper Rebecca McFarland
“Rebecca is very good at understanding angles and closing down on strikers to take away their shooting opportunities,” Bastrop coach Leslie Rangel said. “She is fearless coming off the (goal)line.”
McFarland will attend Texas A&M University in the fall with plans to major in kinesiology but won’t play soccer.
Rylee Romney, a sophomore forward, was chosen to the all-district first team. She scored 17 goals in district (32 goals overall) and had five assists. She added three goals in the postseason.
“Rylee is strong, fast, determined, creative on the ball, an opportunity creator, humble, hard working,” Rangel said. “The list could go on.”
Taylor Gonzalez, a senior, was also named to the all-district first team at defensive wing. She handled the set pieces and scored seven goals with six assists.
“Taylor is a playmaker,” Rangel said. “She has created countless opportunities for us and scored multiple goals. She is amazing at the transition from offense to defense."
Gonzalez has signed with Louisiana State University at Eunice, a junior college.
Also chosen to the all-district team were Olivia Altamirano, junior, second team, midfielder; Kayleigh Kawazoe, junior, second team, center back; McKayla Flores, junior, second team, center back; Alison Boswell, junior, second team, center midfielder; Ariana Sanchez, senior, honorable mention, center midfielder; and Kailee Sanders, freshman, honorable mention, defensive wing.
In her fourth season at Bastrop, Rangel was chosen co-coach of the district along with Georgetown's Sam McCutchen.
Cedar Creek placed goalkeeper Maelynn Bailey on the all-district first team.
Bailey, a junior, recorded 115 saves in district and allowed 4.5 goals a game.
“(Bailey) has been consistent every game,” Cedar Creek coach Vince Fitzpatrick said. “She excelled in one-on-one situations if our last defender got beat. Our games were a lot closer this year with her in goal.”
Other Cedar Creek players selected for the all-district team were junior Esther Hoggard, junior, second team; Fatima Ramirez, junior, honorable mention; Nathaly Rodriguez, senior, honorable mention; and Allison Hoggard, freshman, honorable mention.
Cedar Creek finished eighth in district at 0-12-2.
Jim Irish is a freelance writer in Bastrop, Texas