Run ahead

Needville senior Chayla Ambriz chases down the ball against Scarborough.

Only four years into the program, the Needville High School girls soccer program has firmly earned the title of playoff tested.

Now the Lady Jays have their eyes set on their deepest run in school history after reaching the Region III-4A quarterfinal playoffs for the second straight year.

Huffman Hargrave (23-3-2) stands between Needville (27-7) and the regional semifinals. The two teams will battle on Friday at Berry Center of Northwest Houston in Cypress.

For Lady Jays head coach Kristy Bradford, Friday’s contest is no different than any other game despite Needville losing a heartbreaker to Columbia in round three last year.

“It doesn’t mean any more this year than last,” Bradford said.

“We just want to win no matter what the round is.

“We’re taking it one game at a time.”

Both teams played 6A Houston Heights and both lost 1-0 this season.

“They are a well coached team and they play hard,” Bradford said of Hargrave.

Senior Hannah Long is the focal point of the Lady Falcons’ offense, leading the team with 40 goals and 87 points.

The next-closest scorer is senior Natalie Shirley with 14 goals and 35 points.

Junior Sydney Bray is the distributor for Hargrave, leading the team with 24 assists.

The Lady Jays will be playing on one of the highest high school stages in the Houston area at the Berry Center and coach Bradford isn’t worried about her team adjusting.

“We talked about the field for about 30 seconds,” Bradford said. “It’s a beautiful facility but the field is no different in size that the last several fields we played on.”

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