Written by SportsDayDFW.com
4A Region II-I soccer: Goal with 35 seconds left sends Wakeland boys to state; Wylie East girls advance
CARROLLTON — No. 2 Frisco Wakeland couldn’t overcome top-ranked Frisco Liberty in three regular-season meetings, but coach Rusty Oglesby’s squad came through when it mattered most.
Senior midfielder Brett Berdinsky scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds remaining in Saturday’s Class 4A Region II final, clinching a state tournament berth for Wakeland with a 2-1 victory at Standridge Stadium.
Berdinsky sprinted to the sideline toward a chorus of cheering students while stunned Liberty players fell to their knees in agony.
“I was in eighth grade when Wakeland went to state and won it,” Berdinsky said. “That’s everything we’ve always wanted, and it’s finally our time to go and win it ourselves.”
The game was a tremendous showcase for Frisco ISD soccer. In fact, the entire postseason has been. Liberty and Wakeland eliminated Frisco Heritage and Frisco Centennial from the playoffs in previous rounds.
Oglesby and Liberty coach Fred Kaiser shared a long embrace afterward, and Oglesby was as devastated for his friend and colleague as he was happy about his own team’s success.
“I feel horrible for him,” Oglesby said as he fought back tears. “He coached a team I never want to play again. I know this is great for FISD and all, but I hate it for Fred. We’ve already been [to state], and if anybody ever deserved anything, it was Fred and those kids.”
The loss ended the best season in program history for Liberty (25-2-0), which owned a 1-0 lead after Stian Sandbekkhaug’s goal in the 17th minute.
Wakeland controlled possession throughout but didn’t break through until the second half. Senior Dylan Rakestraw, playing midfield for the first time this season, headed in a corner kick to tie the score in the 55th minute.
The game remained level until Berdinsky’s game winner.
All three goals came in the same net with support from a heavy wind.
“It’s hard to beat someone four times,” Kaiser said. “Hats off to Wakeland. They were able to put the ball in the net one more time than we were. This was great for Frisco, obviously.”
Wakeland (22-4-3) advanced to the state tournament for the first time since winning a 4A title in 2010. Its opponent for Friday’s semifinal will be announced Sunday.
Wylie East 1, Highland Park 0: Wylie East’s dream season will continue next week in Georgetown.
Continuing the longest playoff run for any sports program in the school’s short history, fourth-ranked Wylie East edged No. 2 Highland Park in the Class 4A Region II final at Standridge Stadium to clinch a berth at state.
Wylie East (22-1-1) got a bit lucky to score its lone goal — coming courtesy an own goal in the 57th minute — but it certainly proved itself worthy of the victory. Wylie East dominated defensively, and goalkeeper Brooke-Lynn Scroggins was infallible in front of the net.
The goal came after junior forward Asia Revely broke through the Highland Park back line and fired a shot that was deflected by Highland Park goalkeeper Mariya Molina. A Highland Park defender attempted to clear the ball, but it ricocheted off a teammate and into the net.
“I’ll take them any way we can get them,” Wylie East coach Kody Christensen said. “This is an awesome win for us and a great win for the program.”
Highland Park (21-5-1) had chance after chance in the final 20 minutes to equalize but wasn’t able to finish.
A free kick by sophomore standout Hope Hyde sailed just wide in the 64th minute. Junior defender Kate Summer fired a shot off the crossbar two minutes later. Senior midfielder Sara Summers kicked a hard, low shot toward the near post that was saved by Scroggins in the 76th minute.
Highland Park, which has been to the last two state tournaments, had one last chance with a free kick in the final 10 seconds, but the cross from Hyde was cleared to end the game.
“We’ve scored a lot of goals,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said, “and we have enough special players that we never panicked. Even right up until the last play of the game we had a chance to get that goal.”
Class 4A Region I
Trophy Club Byron Nelson girls 2, Fort Worth Arlington Heights 0: Byron Nelson is headed to the 4A state tournament for the second time in three seasons after a victory over Fort Worth Arlington Heights in Wichita Falls.
Freshman Alexis Smith scored both goals for the Lady Bobcats (22-2-5), who took advantage of the Lady Jackets playing a man down for most of the 4A Region I final at Memorial Stadium.
Smith, who moved from midfield to forward in the playoffs, scored in the 22nd minute off a cross from Chaney Brugman.
Heights didn’t manage much offensively after a red card in the 10th minute. Smith sealed the victory in the 78th minute off Ansley Bunger’s pass.
The 4A semifinals are Friday at Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field. The Lady Bobcats fell in the 2012 4A final to Highland Park.
Trophy Club Byron Nelson boys 5, El Paso Andress 2: Byron Nelson shared the wealth once again, with five players scoring goals in the 4A Region I final.
The Bobcats (25-1-2) had a strong wind at their backs in the opening half, and they wore down the Andress defense and executed on set pieces. Ryan Dandan scored first in the 18th minute off a corner kick by Mason Shank.
About 30 minutes in, Noah Russo sent in a shot that the Eagles’ keeper couldn’t contain and John Kouam knocked in the rebound for a 2-0 lead. Hunter McGuire, who was among four Bobcats to score in the regional semifinal, blasted in the third goal from 45 yards out in the 32nd minute.
Devin Porter chipped the ball over the keeper in the 35th minute for a 4-0 halftime lead. Tanner Burns scored in the 68th minute for a 5-0 lead.
Zach Duncan and Andy Newberry