Jags punch ticket to state semifinals
Early goal by Allen gives HHS Region I girls’ soccer championship
SOUTHLAKE — On Friday night, the Midlothian Heritage Jaguars (ranked No. 1) punched their ticket to the Texas Class 4A state semifinals with a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Argyle Lady Eagles (ranked No. 6 in the state). As thunderstorms built up southeast of Southlake, both teams maintained focus as they both knew what the prize was if they prevailed on this night.
This would be the second time this year that Argyle had faced Heritage. They had lost the initial meeting 2-1 in the Midlothian Heritage tournament in mid-January. This would be a match that would be decided by who blinked first. It would be physical, fast with back and forth runs by each team.
The game kicked off and Heritage took control and immediately put pressure on the Argyle defense and goalkeeper. That pressure paid off in the 9th minute, as Rachel Allen ripped a left-footed shot into the top of the net past the Argyle keeper.
Heritage kept the pressure on the Lady Eagles through out the rest of the first half with the Jags defensive corps keeping the Argyle speed in check. The Jags took that 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half started and little did either side know that they were going to be involved in the best 40 minutes of soccer that has been played this year. This was like a heavyweight bout with the fighters standing toe-to-toe and trading punches, with neither side giving an inch. If you got knocked down, you got right back up. For the match Argyle could only manage 3 shots on Jaedyn Barela, but two of them were quality chances that she smothered.
As the time slowly ticked down, both sides were urging each team, living and dying on each shot, tackle and save. In the end the clock did run out on one team, but both teams had left everything on the field that they had to give. Argyle ended their season with a record of 24-4-2.
The Jags have now earned the right to advance into the state semifinals against the Celina Lady Bobcats. The Heritage girls will be ready to play on Tuesday evening at 5:30 pm in Southlake (that stadium is now fondly known as “North Midlothian”) at Dragon Stadium.
Celina will bring a 24-1-1 record to the field on that night along with Taylor Zdrojewski, who has scored 114 goals this season according to the Dallas Morning News. This should be a good one, so you had better be attendance, and “Get your popcorn ready!”
Last Tuesday in Aledo, the Jags were tested as they hadn’t been yet in the postseason. But they prevailed, 2-1, over Stephenville to advance to Friday’s region final match.
Logan Berumen scored the game-winner as she dribbled across the front of the net, turned inside and rocketed one past the Honeybee goalkeeper to put HHS on top. Early on, Brynn Pollock scored on a shot from 30 yards out to give the Jags the lead, but Stephenville equalized.