Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Ursuline girls soccer seeks its 23rd consecutive state title
Twenty-two consecutive state titles. At Ursuline, no one needs reminding about the streak it has going in girls soccer.
“Every year, our goal is to win a state title,” Ursuline coach Allison Daus said. “We think about that. You couldn’t do it if you thought about the record all the time.”
Ursuline (16-4-4) is back in the state tournament and will play Argyle Liberty Christian in the TAPPS Division I semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday in Houston. A victory would give Ursuline a chance to win a 23rd consecutive title Saturday.
“You think about the record,” junior Samantha Chaiken said. “You think about it most to help you work hard to have a good program. But it’s really just cool just to be a part of a program that all the girls have made over time.”
Around Ursuline’s athletic offices in its North Dallas campus, there are trophies, plaques and banners — but nothing specific to count the championships. Certainly Ursuline is a decorated program. There have been No. 1 national rankings from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and adidas. There have been dozens of major college players, Gatorade players of the year and stories in USA Today, ESPN, Soccer America magazine and YAHOO! Sports.
There also have been close calls. In a state quarterfinal against John Paul II on Tuesday, Ursuline needed a second-half goal off a rebound from Chaiken to get a 1-0 victory and advance.
Ursuline has had dramatic comebacks to win state finals. Ursuline rallied to score four unanswered goals to beat Fort Worth Nolan in the 2011 championship game.
Daus is a first-year head coach, but it’s certainly not her first season with Ursuline. Daus is a former Ursuline player (Class of ’05), and her sister Kristie (’07) played for Ursuline.
After four years playing at Penn State, Daus was an assistant under Jamie Cantrell the last three years. Cantrell retired to raise her children, but hasn’t lost connections with Ursuline. Daus and Cantrell talk regularly. “We have very good communications,” Daus said. “So I feel very prepared. I wasn’t surprised by this year.”
The spirit of community runs deep in the Ursuline program. There are a host of traditions which have developed in the years under former coaches Susan Ellis, the late Leslie Graham and in Cantrell’s nine seasons.
Before leaving for the state tournament, Ursuline’s players had to find an opponent’s jersey hidden near the practice field. The players wear pink hair ribbons and, if they reach the final, Daus will hand each player a penny to put in their left shoe.