- Travis L. Brown, ESPNDallas.com
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GEORGETOWN, Texas -- Frisco Wakeland’s girls soccer team had made a habit of using halftime to settle the nerves that arise during playoff matches and make adjustments to problems those nerves can cause.
Saturday in the 4A girls state title match, Wakeland head coach Meagan Wilson didn’t have much to say to her team between halves in a dominating performance that would lead to a 2-1 win over Cedar Park Vista Ridge and the school’s first girls state championship.
“Our halftime talk was very simple today,” Wilson said. “I told them to go out and play the exact same way they played in the first half and as long as they played the same way they played in the first half they’d be fine, and they came out and did that.”
Both halves were almost identical, not only in play, but in scoring.
Junior midfielder Katey Carmichael found the back of the net just four minutes into the game, ripping a shot from just inside the box on the right into the far left side of the goal. Carmichael was released on a breakaway by a through ball from midfielder Jennifer Perry.
“I saw it coming and I just went and the whole time I was just thinking about my whole team and how we are a family and how I wanted it so bad and I just put it away,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael missed two months of the regular season with a concussion but made an immediate impact when she returned to the field. She was Wakeland’s leader through the regional and tournaments, scoring the game-winning shootout goal in the region final and setting up the Wolverine’s lone goal in the state semifinals with a cross in the box. Her efforts and offensive productivity were rewarded with the 4A championship game MVP award.
“She’s really come on and peaked every single game and gotten better and better every single game,” Wilson said. “She just wanted it. She wanted it for her seniors and she wanted it for the rest of her teammates. The kid is selfless -- she’s absolutely selfless. She goes out and sacrifices every day for her teammates. She’s a beast.”
Wakeland began the second half with another score, this time off the foot of Ashley Kingston. After a Wakeland run was broken up by the Vista Ridge defense, a defender attempted a clearing kick that directly hit a teammate and fell right in front of Kingston’s cleats. A simple shot was all she needed to net what would be the game-winner.
“It hit off a bunch of people and I just knew I just had to do everything I could do to just get a foot on it,” Kingston said. “I just had to do it”
Vista Ridge found life with four minutes left in the game off a goal by Maegan Evans, who ripped a shot into the goal off a pass from Kennedy Brown in the right side of the box.
Wakeland’s state championship comes just a year after the boys team won a state championship and in Wilson’s first year as a head coach.
“I knew when we started this season that we had the talent to get here, it was just going to be a matter of if everyone would come together and gel and get through the coaching change and all that stuff.,” Wilson said. “I can’t be more excited – I don’t even think it’s really set in yet that this has happened. It’s just something that we’ve worked our tails off for this whole year.”