Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Brett Berdinsky sends Frisco Wakeland to state with last-minute goal against Frisco Liberty
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 Wakeland a state berth 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 the game 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 game 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) advances 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.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.