Written by Corbett Smith
Last-minute heroics lift Coppell boys to 5A soccer title
Madden ties it late, then scores with 56 seconds left in OT
GEORGETOWN — Coppell’s boys soccer team stood huddled near midfield, jumping with joy. The catalyst for that happiness, junior right back Chris Madden, trailed behind, shuffling across the field — exhausted — before being steered in the direction of the TV cameras.
There was good reason for his fatigue. Madden had just lifted his team to a state championship.
He scored on a 20-yard free kick with 3:32 left in regulation to force overtime, then knocked in a low, driving 20-yard kick with 56 seconds remaining in overtime for a 3-2 win over Brownsville Hanna in the Class 5A final at Birkelbach Field.
The win gave Coppell its second title in school history, also winning in 2004.
“Unbelievable,” Coppell coach Chad Rakestraw said of Madden’s two goals. “[The free kick] was clutch. To be able to put that on frame and to finish it the way he did, there’s no better place to finish it but the top corner.”
Rakestraw said he had already started to think about a penalty-kick shootout, when Madden pulled up from outside the 18-yard box, powering a shot that skimmed off the turf as it beat Hanna keeper Eduardo Vargas in the far corner.
“The forwards and I were saying, ‘Hey, let’s not take this to PKs; let’s finish this now,’” Madden said. “I got my opportunity to take it and it worked out.”
That Coppell (23-2-0) needed Madden’s heroics was astounding.
Hanna (26-2-3) went for long expanses without any sustained possession. It didn’t have a shot, much less a shot on goal, in the first 20 minutes of both halves.
Drake Lovelady’s opening goal in the 18th minute put a pretty bow on Coppell’s first-half play, knocking in a beautiful back heel on a pass from Mitchell Parnell.
Yet, as both halves winded down, Hanna’s counter-attack started to gain traction. All it took was a three-minute span midway through the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
Andres Cervantes was knocked down in the 18-yard box in the 58th minute, and Hanna’s leading scorer, Carlos Acevedo, knocked home a rebound off his penalty kick to tie the score. In the 61st minute, Acevedo — who scored 47 goals this season — scored again, this time with a header off a free kick by Juan Garcia.
“They hit those two in quick,” Madden said. “It was pretty deflating, but we bounced back.”
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN