Written by SportsDayDFW.com
4A regional soccer: Highland Park's Hope Hyde continues playoff roll; Wakeland boys win
CARROLLTON — Even strep throat can’t slow Hope Hyde’s torrid pace.
Highland Park’s sophomore striker scored a hat trick, as last year’s state runner-up rolled past Waxahachie, 3-1, in a girls soccer Class 4A Region II semifinal at Standridge Stadium.
Over the last seven games, Hyde has scored 15 goals — five of them since coming down with strep last weekend.
“Oh, my,” Hyde said, her throat still raspy. “Sounds crazy when you say it.”
After a scoreless first half, Highland Park (21-4-1) — the No. 2 ranked team in the area — started putting pressure on Waxahachie’s back line.
Less than three minutes after halftime, Highland Park sophomore Savanna Jones broke free down the right flank and found a cross to Hyde, just eight yards out. Hyde rolled it slowly into the right side of goal for a 1-0 lead. Her second goal, in the 53 minute, clipped off the left post and ricocheted off the feet of Waxahachie keeper Elizabeth Gish. But it was her final goal that was her best, breaking free off a long pass and slotting it into lower left corner while in full stride.
“As the year’s gone on, the team has gotten better, attack-wise,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “And now, [Hope’s] getting the services, and we are looking for the right services for her. And her finishing is just phenomenal.”
Mackenzie Posey gave Waxahachie (17-3-4) its lone goal with three minutes remaining, scoring off a 25-yard free kick. The regional semifinal round has been tough on Waxahachie, advancing to – and falling in — this game in four of the past five seasons, including a 5-0 loss to Highland Park last season.
Wylie East 2, Red Oak 0: For Wylie East coach Kody Christensen, his team’s win over Red Oak in the Class 4A Region II semifinals wasn’t just for the chance to play for a berth to the state tournament.
His program’s playoff run — the deepest into the playoffs for any team sport in Wylie East history — has allowed students, parents and fans a bright spot after the tragic death of senior Ivan Mejia and the arrest of two of his classmates.
“Our school kind of needed something to revamp the spirit and get it going again, and this has done it,” Christensen said. “It’s allowed people to enjoy this journey with us and it’s given our school a whole sense of enjoyment of the year, as opposed to having a little bit of sadness going on.”
Wylie East (22-1-1) will face Highland Park (21-4-1) for a trip to next week’s UIL’s state tournament in Georgetown. It’s a rematch of a 4-0 Wylie East win on Jan. 21.
Both of East’s goals were set up by freshman Addie McCain — the younger sister of two-sport star Garrett McCain.
“She holds the middle and kind of dictates the control of the game,” Christensen said. “As a freshman, you don’t expect that to be able to take that kind of role.”
McCain’s glancing header opened the scoring in the 12 minute, clipping in a corner kick from Molli Pampolina.
Then McCain set up Asia Revely in the 48 minute, breaking free down the right side and finding Revely 10 yards out, right in front of the goal.
To that point, it had been a frustrating night for Revely, barely missing goals by clipping shots off the right post in the 24 minute, and again right after halftime.
“We’ve been getting stuck in the third-round twice, so this was just great making it this far,” Revely said.
Red Oak (19-3-3) never could build enough passes together against Wylie East’s tough defense, getting its best opportunities off a handful of corner and free kicks. Red Oak keeper Lauren Eshelman made two key saves in the final 20 minutes to hold the two-goal deficit, saving a penalty kick from McCain and a stopping a breakaway by Brittany Jones.
Frisco Wakeland 3, Longview Pine Tree 2: Even back in January there was little doubt in coach Rusty Oglesby’s mind that the regional tournament would come down to his Frisco Wakeland team and district rival Frisco Liberty.
Wakeland made that final a reality Friday, edging Longview Pine Tree with a wild finish that included four goals in the final 11 minutes at Standridge Stadium.
“At the end of the day tomorrow one of us is going to be a little disappointed,” Oglesby said, “but what a great day it’s going to be for Frisco athletics and the Frisco community.”
Liberty and Wakeland are set to square off at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the winner earns a trip to the state tournament.
Wakeland (21-4-3) had a bit more trouble getting to the final than its district counterpart, needing a pair of heroes to step up in the closing minutes.
Senior forward Corey Cantor slotted home his second goal of the day with a left-footed strike from 15 yards out in the 77 minute to give Wakeland its last lead. It was the fourth goal during an eight-minute stretch of the second half.
Pine Tree’s True Clark headed in a goal off a perfect cross from Allan Maceda that tied the game at 1-1 in the 69 minute. Thirty seconds later Wakeland was back in front thanks to Harris Partain, who scored just his second goal of the season.
Clark stepped up again for his second Pine Tree goal in the 72 minute, storming past the Wakeland back line to tie the game before Cantor’s game-winning strike.
“I said to them at halftime that we didn’t have to score a highlight reel goal,” Oglesby said. “The ugliest goal can still be the game winner.”
The flurry of goals followed a scoreless first half.
Liberty and Wakeland have already met three times this season, and Liberty has come out on top each time. Liberty won the first meeting, 2-1, on penalty kicks, then scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory on a cold, rainy day in early February.
Only the third meeting, a 4-2 Liberty victory, was decided by more than one goal.
No. 1 Liberty and No. 2 Wakeland have been the top two teams in the area all season.
Frisco Liberty 7, Hallsville 2: There was no letup in Frisco Liberty on Friday. Not after going up on Hallsville 3-0 in the first half, nor after extending the lead to 5-1 in the second.
Paced by standout forward Stian Sandbekkhaug’s fifth hat trick of the season, Liberty routed Hallsville a Class 4A Region II semifinal at Standridge Stadium.
“We came here with the mentality that we’re not stopping until we get to Georgetown,” Sandbekkhaug said.
Liberty (25-1-0), the top-ranked 4A team in the area, is in the midst of its best season and deepest playoff run.
Liberty was slow out of the gate Friday and surrendered a few early chances to Hallsville.
The run of play had already changed, though, when Ihiro Umeki headed in a free kick from Phillip Le in the 20 minute. Umeki’s goal gave Liberty all the confidence it needed.
Less than nine minutes later Liberty had extended its lead to 3-0 behind an own goal and Sandbekkhaug’s first score, set up once again with an assist from Le.
“We scouted them and decided to try something new,” Liberty coach Fred Kaiser said. “It just didn’t work out and the boys weren’t comfortable playing it. So we went back to what we know and the fireworks started happening.”
Liberty has scored seven or more goals four times this season and twice in the playoffs. It beat Sherman, 9-0, in the bi-district round.
Hallsville got goals from Gustavo Lilly and Andrew Southard, but the team was never closer than two scores from the lead in the second half.
Class 4A Region I
Trophy Club Byron Nelson girls 4, Lubbock Monterey 0: In Wichita Falls, Arkansas signee Madison Hall broke a scoreless deadlock with her 28th goal of the season in the 36th minute, and the Lady Bobcats (21-2-5) tacked on three second-half goals to advance to their third consecutive regional final.
Byron Nelson advanced to play Fort Worth Arlington Heights at 11 a.m. Saturday in the regional final. Heights blanked Canyon Randall, 2-0, in the other semifinal.
Olenka Soko scored on Allie Rivers’ cross in the 42 minute, and Hannah Boyd and Ann Odom notched goals in the final four minutes.
Trophy Club Byron Nelson boys 4, Amarillo 1: It was close until the 41st minute, when Byron Nelson goalkeeper Chase Therrien stopped Amarillo’s Alex Cervantes, who had already scored one goal. But Therrien read the Sandies' striker perfectly as he tried to push the ball to the near post and stopped it.
The save protected a scant 2-1 but gave the Bobcats the momentum and they ran with it, adding goals by Noah Russo and Hunter McGuire 59 seconds apart. Mason Shank and Brett Powell scored in the first half.
Byron Nelson's boys team will take on El Paso Andress, a 2-0 winner over Fort Worth North Side, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorail Stadium.