High School: 2012 UIL state soccer tournament

Keeper leads Highland Park girls to 4A  crown

April, 22, 2012
Highland Park junior goalkeeper Sarah Howley was almost perfect throughout the UIL Class 4A girls soccer playoffs.

Highland Park allowed just one goal in the postseason, capped by a 1-0 shootout victory Saturday over Trophy Club Byron Nelson in the state championship game in Georgetown, Texas.

The Lady Scots secured the championship with a 4-3 advantage in the shootout after Howley and Byron Nelson keeper Ariana Morrison registered shutouts through regulation and both overtime periods.

It's the first girls soccer state title since 2002 for Highland Park, which also reached the state tournament in 2003, '05 and '06.

It was the first trip to the state tournament for Byron Nelson, which opened only three years ago.

For her efforts, Howley was named the championship game MVP and heads up the 4A girls all-state tournament team. Morrison also made the team.

Here are the complete all-state tournament teams, as selected by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches:

Plano West's girls soccer team will head to the Class 5A state final after knocking off Klein Oak in a dominant 2-0 victory Friday in Georgetown, Texas.

The Lady Wolves jumped into the lead 20 minutes in on a penalty kick off the boot of senior Karson Keogh that just found the inside of the frame. The kick was awarded after Casie Ramsier was taken down in the box.

"She hit it well but it went just on the inside of the post," West coach Carley Phillips said. "It was a little bit stressful."

West netted the other goal with 27 seconds left in the first half.

"Their keeper was very aggressive and came out for a ball and we got past her," Phillips said. "There was an open net and Ashley Smith gave a nice little pass to Tori Gates, who put it in."

The team is excited to remain in Georgetown through the weekend, but the semifinal win was just another step closer to the ultimate goal, Philips said.

"It was just a win for them," she said. "We're just kind of at the point where we're looking for that end result, which is to be state champions.They're excited and happy about the win but the focus is on the finals now."

Plano West will take on Katy Seven Lakes at 11 a.m. Saturday for the 5A championship

Hat trick effort puts Highland Park in title bout

Junior Katie Martin beat the keeper three times in Highland Park's 5-2 victory over Waco Midway to punch the Lady Scots' ticket into the 4A state final.

Martin netted the first goal of the game, heading in a corner kick cross in the first half. The goal ended a 19 game shutout streak Midway carried into the 4A semifinal match.

The junior tallied her second just before halftime, firing a rocket from the top of the penalty box into the back corner of the net.

Martin finished her barrage in the second half, hitting from 22 yards after cutting past an oncoming Midway defender.

Highland Park will face the winner of Friday's semifinal between Trophy Club Byron Nelson and Cedar Park at 4 p.m. Saturday for the 4A crown.

UIL state soccer tournament results, pairings

April, 19, 2012

  • Plano West 2, Klein Oak 0
  • Katy Seven Lakes 2, San Antonio Churchill 1 (3-2, SO)
  • 4 p.m. -- Mission Sharyland 3, Mansfield 1
  • 6 p.m. -- Katy Morton Ranch 4, Austin Westlake 1

  • Highland Park 5, Waco Midway 2
  • Trophy Club Byron Nelson 1, Cedar Park 0
  • Wichita Falls Rider 1 vs. Mount Pleasant 0
  • San Antonio Alamo Heights 1 vs. Friendswood 0
  • Girls Class 5A: Plano West 1, Katy Seven Lakes 0
  • Boys Class 5A: Mission Sharyland 3, Katy Morton Ranch 2
  • Highland Park 1, Trophy Club Byron Nelson 0 (4-3 SO)
  • San Antonio Alamo Heights 3, Wichita Falls Rider 2 (3-2 SO)
Plano West Team Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comPlano West's girls soccer team is two wins from a state championship.

The Plano West girls soccer team’s final training session before the state tournament moved at a lively pace, focusing primarily on basic touch drills to sharpen key fundamentals.

The transfers between drills Tuesday worked seamlessly as players followed a routine that has helped earned them the No. 3 national rank according to ESPNHS going into the Class 5A state tournament.

But before the players could move on to a free-for-all, scrimmage-like scoring drill known as World Cup with the most serious weekend of their careers upon them, they all had to line up with hands over hearts and sing an ear-splitting, downright silly rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” directed with conductor-like movements from coach Carley Phillips.

[+] EnlargePlano West Freshman
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comPlano West has found a good balance between keeping things light and taking care of business.
“We were playing World Cup and talking about wanting it and who wants it more and so we decided to have a national anthem and an international walkout like in the World Cup,” Phillips said.

No, this Plano West team isn’t one to spend days leading up to big games in solemn meditation and reflective silence. The Lady Wolves screamed the lyrics to the Spice Girls' song “Wannabe” right before hitting the field for the region final, which, frankly, is a testament to the players' natural ability to operate well beyond their years.

Most of the team was a year old when the song was first released.

Last year, the Lady Wolves were led by a talented but inexperienced group of sophomores who saw their season earlier than expected in the bi-district round.

While still considered a young team with its core of juniors, goofy antics and all, mature play inside the touchlines has Plano West on the verge of a 5A state title.

“I feel like we have a different atmosphere around our team and going into [the playoffs] we had a different mindset,” junior goalie Clair Wheatley said. “It feels completely different to me.”

Credit that new vibe to Phillips, in her first year as the Lady Wolves' head coach, and her ability to relate to her players. As a Plano West soccer alumnus -- playing varsity from 2002-05 and going to state in '02 and '04 -- she's gone through all the same experiences her team faces.

“She knows where we’re coming from,” junior Taylor Jackson said. “She’s been through all this and she connects with us like that. She doesn’t have to say much to get us motivated, just her being here and being an example to us.”

A win against semifinal opponent Klein Oak (25-1-1) Thursday at 11 a.m. would put the Lady Wolves (21-3-4) one step closer to ending their season like Phillips did in 2002 – hoisting a state championship trophy.

Two teams make first tournament appearance

Mansfield's boys and Trophy Club Byron Nelson’s girls are making their schools' first trip to Georgetown for the state soccer tournament.

Mansfield (21-5-4) is the only boys squad representing the Metroplex this weekend, facing Mission Sharyland (15-3) in the 5A semifinal Thursday at 4 p.m.

Three years after the school opened, Byron Nelson’s girls are already within two wins a state championship. After storming through the playoffs, outscoring opponents 27-3, the Bobcats (23-2-4) will try their skill against tournament hometown Cedar Park (21-3-3) Friday at 1 p.m. in a 4A semifinal.

Highland Park girls return to state

The Lady Scots return to the state tournament for the eighth time, the first since 2006, in hopes of continuing the tradition of a girls title returning to the Metroplex.

Highland Park (26-1-2) will face Waco Midway (21-4-4) in the 4A semifinal Friday at 11 a.m.

The Lady Scots have allowed just one goal throughout their playoff run.

Find the full state tournament schedule here.