State champs … again! Fast start propels HHS to second UIL girls’ soccer title

Freshman Burrows named MVP after recording hat trick in final

Don Hullett
Mirror correspondent
Heritage head girls' soccer coach Gerald Slovacek hoists the Class 4A state championship trophy after the Jaguars routed Corpus Christi Calallen, 6-0, on Friday in the state final in Georgetown. The Jags won their second state championship in four seasons.
Heritage freshman Jules Burrows is presented with the Most Valuable Player award after scoring three goals in Friday's 6-0 rout of Corpus Christi Calallen in the Class 4A state girls' soccer championship match in Georgetown.
Heritage seniors Jaeden Barela (0) and Rachel Allen (15) realize the last game as teammates after Friday's 6-0 victory over Corpus Christi Calallen to win the 2021 Class 4A state girls' soccer championship.

GEORGETOWN — All throughout the season, the Midlothian Heritage Jaguars had approached each game with a die-hard focus on the team they were playing that night, never looking past that opponent to the next, and never looking back at what might have been.

On an overcast, rainy Friday morning, April 16, in Georgetown, the Jags finished the final mile of the long road that they had embarked on this year and skillfully routed the Corpus Christi Calallen Wildcats 6-0 to capture the Texas State 4A Girls Soccer Championship. Their ultimate plight had been a determined pilgrimage this season, especially since they were so disappointed in last year’s cancellation of their run for the title in 2020. These committed Heritage girls were overjoyed that destiny ended up being their friend this year!

"This win is satisfying for many reasons,: HHS head coach Gerald Slovacek said. "To be able to bring a program back to a championship, is tough to do.  This win is about this team, but it is also for the seniors we had last year, that did not get the opportunity to compete in the playoffs.  Its satisfying for our current seniors, who won it their freshman year, and led this 2021 team to our 2nd state championship. It is satisfying, when a group of freshmen through seniors, can come together as a team and complete the goal we set for ourselves."

This would mark milestones for each side involved. It would be the second state finals appearance for the Jags and the first trip to any state finals that Calallen had ever made as a school — in any sport.

Calallen opened the game by kicking off and from the start it was evident that their nerves and inexperience would play a huge role in the outcome of the game. Heritage took control of the game at the six-minute mark when Jules Burrows converted a pass from Brynn Pollock and buried the first of her three goals on the day to give Heritage a quick 1-0 lead.

The day got a lot worse for the overmatched Wildcats as Kerry Scott scored from 10 yards out after she had been set up by Sydney Dickson just 2 minutes later. It took another 2 minutes for Heritage to bump the lead to 3-0 when Burrows added her second goal of the game after a succulent pass and set up by Dickson.

The Jaguars kept their foot on the gas pedal, as just 5 minutes later senior captain Rachel Allen sent a cruise missile in from 20 yards out that grazed the keeper’s outstretched hands for an insurmountable 4-0 lead as the first half closed without any more scoring.

Whatever comeback hopes that the Wildcats might have had went right out the window when Burrows completed her hat trick (3 goals in one match) when she followed her own shot that had bounced off the keeper and buried it deep in the back of the net at the 54 minute mark to make the score 5-0.

After 2 assists for the day so far, Dickson put the final stamp on a championship season when she came from the left side of the field and converted a crossing pass from Pollock to make the final score of 6-0.

As the final minutes waned from the clock the final horn seemed anti-climatic as the Jags sidelines and crowd erupted. With 2 trips to state and 2 titles, Heritage sent their 5 seniors off with something that they will always have to show for their hard work, determination and team work. The graduating seniors are: Jaedyn Barela, Rachel Allen, Hannah Dorsey, Kylar Kenter, and Savana Conde.

"I was telling them how proud I was of them, and that they have left a championship legacy for our program," Slovacek said. "I told them about all of the joy and fun they bring into my life. The growth they have shown over the past four years is a testament to their leadership.  I will miss these seniors tremendously."

Rest assured that Heritage will not rebuild, but they will reload and be ready to defend their state title next year against all comers.

On the season Heritage finished with a 27-1 record, having scored 141 goals for the year and giving up only 11 total goals. They were led in scoring by Junior Lauren Berumen – 24 goals and 6 assists, Rachel Allen -- 19 goals and 17 assists; Brynn Pollock -- 17 goals and 22 assists, Sydney Dickson -- 14 goals and 10 assists, Hannah Dorsey -- 11 goals and 3 assists, Kerry Scott -- 10 goals and 17 assists, and Jules Burrows -- 10 goals and 2 assists.

Freshman Burrows said after the game, “This was all so exciting. I can’t believe I got 3 goals in the State Final game. It is totally unbelievable, but we were so focused this year and determined to win the title!” (She also was the news writers’ choice for MVP for the game.)

The goalie tandem of Barela and Tanner Sorenson were outstanding all year, as Barela had 17 wins with 6 goals allowed for a minuscule goals against of 0.42 and 13 shutouts. The other half of the Heritage tandem, Sorenson, had 7 wins while only giving up 4 goals for an even lower goals against of 0.39 with 4 shutouts.

Coach Slovacek wanted to thank all of the parents and fans for their undying support of the girls and the team in general. Coach also stated “it was a great year and we will take a few days off to enjoy what the players have accomplished -- and after a short summer, we will lace up the cleats and get after it again.”

4A semifinals: MHS 1, Celina 0

SOUTHLAKE — From the time of the Regional semi-final win against Argyle until last Tuesday, April 13, when the Heritage Jaguars played Celina Bobcats in the state semifinals, all that they heard was about Celina’s mega star player Taylor Zdrojewski and her scoring 112 goals in this 2020-2021 soccer season.

On Friday, April 15 the Bobcats learned a very hard lesson that was taught by Heritage Head Coach Gerald Slovacek and the Jaguars, that you cannot beat a team that is truly a “team” in every sense of the word with a one-dimensional game.

From the initial kickoff to start the game it was clear that one of the Jags top offensive threats, senior Rachel Allen, had put her personal goal-scoring ability aside to go defensively mono-a-mono with Celina’s Zdrojewski, and that was with another outstanding offensive threat for the Jags, Logan Berumen, who was out with a torn ACL suffered in the final minutes of the Argyle game.

"She was missed on the pitch by our team," Slovacek said of Berumen. "She gives everything she has for our program, and is an integral part of our team.  She missed her sophomore year with an injury, and then again suffered an injury during this year's playoffs. She will be back, is the plan!"

Allen stayed so close with Zdrojewski for the entire match that she could have told you what kind of gum she was chewing by the end of the evening. The Jags pretty much controlled the game form the start, but had nothing to show for their hard work until Kerry Scott found Hannah Dorsey with a sweet pass that Dorsey rifled into the net past the Celina goalie for a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. The remainder of the first half was back and forth, but there was no further scoring. There was definitely electricity in the air, with an exciting defensive struggle that had settled on the field, almost like a fog.

As the second half started Celina was more determined than ever to force-feed the ball to Zdrojewski in an attempt to get her scoring going, but Allen was there at every turn and run.

As it had in the opening half, Celina was playing a somewhat physical style of game in hopes of slowing down the Jaguars and knocking them off their possession and speed game. Nothing was working for the Bobcats, and as time waned down they pushed even harder for the equalizing goal. But tonight was all Heritage, as they kept the Bobcats from mounting anything coming close to a scoring chance.

Celina ended its season at 24-2-1 and finished ranked No. 6 in the Texas state rankings.