BENTON CITY - The Mabton Lady Viking soccer team showed progress, but it wasn't enough in a 2-0 loss this past Saturday at Kiona-Benton in a loser-out SCAC District play-off match.
Mabton, which lost to the Bears 7-1 earlier this season, surrendered a goal in the eighth minute on a corner kick then held Ki-Be scoreless the rest of the first half.
The Bears finally broke through for an insurance goal with about two minutes left to play after Mabton had moved up more players to the front in a desperate push to find a game-tying goal.
Kiona-Benton had nine shots on goal for the match, with Mabton keeper Maryellen Gutierrez recording seven saves.
The Lady Vikes were only able to muster two shots on goal, both by forward Maricela Chavez.
Saturday's season-ending loss was not only a moral victory in playing the Bears much closer, but represented an accomplishment in contrast to how Mabton started the season.
"I'm pretty happy with what we did," said Coach Elizabeth Garcia. "Considering that we started the first day of practice with four players and ended up in the playoffs, I'm pretty pleased."
Garcia is especially excited because several of the players who ended up turning out to save the season are only freshmen and have expressed commitment to the future of the Lady Vike soccer program.
"We have an improving young group of players who are excited and want to pursue getting better," she said.
Mabton finished the 2011 campaign with a 4-4 SCAC record and an overall mark of 8-9.
Three of Mabton's players also earned all-SCAC recognition this season, as Micki Williams was named first-team at forward, while Chavez and Jessica Leon were named honorable mention at forward and defender, respectively.