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West Plains girls soccer wins first ever playoff game with 8-0 thrashing of Mineral Wells

The West Plains girls soccer team celebrates after winning a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.
The West Plains girls soccer team celebrates after winning a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.

CANYON — Thursday afternoon marked the first ever playoff game in program history for the West Plains girls soccer team.

You wouldn't have thought that based on the way they played as the Lady Wolves were in command throughout with the ball, barely spending anytime on their side of the field.

West Plains scored two goals in the first half before piling it on in the second to defeat Mineral Wells 8-0 in a Class 4A bi-district round matchup.

With the victory, the Lady Wolves (21-1-1) advance to the second round and are scheduled to play the winner of El Paso Bowie and Lubbock Estacado next week.

West Plains' Tylee Jensen throws up the Wolfpack symbol during a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.
West Plains' Tylee Jensen throws up the Wolfpack symbol during a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.

"It's incredible," West Plains coach Amberlee Gerald said. "We hoped that we would make it to this point and to be here and get the first playoff win in our program is an incredible feeling. I couldn't ask for a better group of girls to do it with."

The Lady Wolves got a ton of opportunities in the first half and started things off with a goal by MacKenzie Hickman two minutes into the contest. Sydney Lanigan added a second goal in the 17th minute to give West Plains a 2-0 edge at the midway point.

"Our halftime talk basically was about how there's not really a whole lot that we're doing wrong, but here are the ways that we can improve" Gerald said. "That was a big factor in the way that we came out the second half. We knew that they were going to come out strong the second half and we were ready and came back even stronger.

The second half was when West Plains really got the offense flowing.

After Mineral Wells scored an own-goal six minutes into the second half, Melanie Lujan put one in the back of the net a minute later to fuel the rout. She needed just five more minutes to pick up her second goal of the day to stretch the lead to 5-0 before Lanigan got another goal in the book a minute after that.

Hickman scored her second goal in the 62nd minutes and Makayla Gomez got one in the 75th to give the match its final tally.

"It's huge to have the depth that we do on our team," Gerald said. "We don't have one or two specific goal scorers. We have a whole squad full of them. ... Even if they don't get the stat for it everyone contributes."

West Plains head coach Amberlee Gerald watches her team play during a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.
West Plains head coach Amberlee Gerald watches her team play during a 4A Bi-District playoff game against Mineral Wells on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Happy State Bank Stadium.

Now, it's all about the next round. Gerald believes her team will be ready.

"Our mindset going in is the same as it always is," she said. "It's another game. We stay away of it may be our last game. We go in thinking it's just another game and we've been successful with all of the other ones, so why should we play any differently on this one?"

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: West Plains girls soccer wins first ever playoff game with 8-0 thrashing of Mineral Wells