Written by SportsDayDFW.com
'World-class goal,' strong goalkeeper effort sends Coppell girls soccer past Mansfield
IRVING — Coppell got an easily anticipated goal from junior standout Sarah King, but it was a standout shutout effort by junior goalkeeper Rachel Johnson which proved to be the most critical timing in a 1-0 Class 5A area round victory over Mansfield on Thursday at Irving Schools Stadium.
“Sarah has scored 22 of our 33 goals and she came through again,” Coppell coach Chris Stricker said, “and Rachel came up big when we needed her. It’s a testament Rachel and our goalie coach (Michelle) McAlister putting in the work to improve through the season. Rachel made plays she wasn’t making at the beginning of the year.”
Johnson caught a line-drive kick with the wind from 20-yards out in the middle of the net to hold off a final furious comeback with about three minutes remaining by senior-laden Mansfield.
“I saw it all the way into my hands,” Johnson said. “I was just thinking don’t drop it.”
Coppell (13-4-6) had gotten a pair of saves from Johnson in the first half as Mansfield’s Dayton signee Sidney Leroy teed off on a pair of shots. Mansfield also got a strong corner kick attempt in the final minutes but freshman defender Sarah Houchin helped out her goalie with a save.
Coppell sophomore defender Madeline Guderian also helped a structurally sound defensive effort with a pair of nice stops in front of the net.
Mansfield (22-2-1) ousted Coppell in the playoffs in the same round last year in a 4-2 shootout after ending in a scoreless tie in regulation.
Coppell was a fourth-place district finisher but has been expecting to possibly meet several district opponents while advancing in the playoffs.
“That was hard to be fourth,” Stricker said. “But we’ve got some of the toughest teams in the state (Hebron, Flower Mound and Flower Mound Marcus) in our district. So we know whatever we see in the playoffs won’t be any better.”
Coppell has survived on the scoring of King all season. The Baylor commitment for the Class of 2015, King whirled herself open for a hard shot on the left side from 25 yards. The ball arced just under the top of the crossbar to land in the back of the net.
“Sarah’s been making world-class goals all season,” Stricker said. “She came up with another one when we needed it.”