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Burnet aims to stay in stride in final week

The Burnet High School girls soccer team still has a shot a finishing second in the District 18-4A standings after already securing a playoff berth. But the Lady Dawgs (14-6-3, 10-3) must win their final two matches of the regular season, both on the road.

First up is Lampasas (7-13, 5-7) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at Lampasas High School, 2716 U.S. 281 South in Lampasas. Then Burnet ends the regular season at 7 p.m. Monday, March 14, at Salado (13-8-1, 8-2-1).

Though Lampasas is officially out of the postseason race, the Lady Dawgs are preparing to get the Lady Badgers’ best effort, Burnet head coach Kimberly Myhre said.

“It is a rivalry game,” she said. “In the first game, they scored on us in the first 5 minutes. It woke our girls up that they wanted to beat us. We scored two quick goals to go up 2-1 at the half and then won 9-1. It’s a fun game.”

The Lady Dawgs are hitting their stride as evident by the 5-0 thrashing of Jarrell on senior night March 4. That was a bounce-back from the 3-1 loss to Lake Belton (19-1, 12-0) on March 1. Reagan Shipley scored Burnet’s only goal, a free kick from 48 yards out.

Myhre said Lake Belton has given up a total of five goals all season, and one was to the Lady Dawgs.

Multiple Lady Dawgs contributed to the win against Jarrell (3-14-1, 1-9). Amelia Griffin scored three goals for the hat trick and had two assists. Bella Poppel and Caroline Valencia each had a goal, while Kaycie Banton and Shipley each had an assist.

Myhre attributes the Lady Dawgs’ success to multiple factors, including friendships away from the pitch, rapport playing together, and playing for the same coach for three years. The signs Burnet was in for a special season was beating opponents the Lady Dawgs have struggled against in the past.

“This year is really a tight-knit group,” she said. “They have this fire in them; they want it. My eight seniors have come together, and they all realize we can be good. I got my seniors as sophomores. They bought into me and what I brought into the program. Beating ranked teams has helped with that.”

The other factor that can’t be overlooked, the coach said, is the athletes have played on other Burnet High teams that have been successful, including the volleyball and basketball programs that each reached the Class 4A Region III tournaments in their sports. The Lady Dawgs coaching staff has been the model of stability with each sport having the same head and assistant coaches for multiple seasons, Myhre added, which allows players and their coaches to bond and work closely for success.

“They’re all able to buy-in as a whole,” Myhre said. “We want those gold balls (too).”

The Lady Dawgs will welcome San Angelo Lakeview in a warm-up game on Monday, March 21, at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive in Burnet to prepare for the postseason. Kickoff is still to be determined.

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