Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Plano West dominates Carroll, 4-1, to defend girls state soccer title, the school's sixth
GEORGETOWN — After Plano West beat Southlake Carroll, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon to successfully defend its Class 5A title, its players raised the trophy and celebrated an undefeated season.
On the sideline, coach Carley Phillips was already being asked about next year.
“Can you win it again?”
Plano West will certainly be in the mix, as it always seems to be. The state’s most successful girls soccer program didn’t play a varsity match until 2000 and has now won six state titles, more than any other school.
“Obviously, Plano West has a great tradition and the girls know that,” said Phillips, who played for Plano West’s 2002 champions and has been the coach for the last two. “I think it’s exciting for them to finish it off and start their own legacy.”
Plano West’s 2013 team was one of the best in the school’s starry soccer history. The Wolves finished 28-0-2 to match the unbeaten finish of the 2001 team, and they capped their season with a convincing win against a strong Carroll team that was trying to win its first title since 2008.
After a scoreless first half, the match seemed up for grabs. But Plano West, despite playing into the wind, dominated Carroll (30-3) after intermission.
Just 22 seconds into the second half, freshman forward Lakyn Pope chipped a shot over charging Carroll goalkeeper Victoria Stephens to give Plano West a 1-0 lead. The shot not only broke the ice, it also started a gusher for the Wolves, who are unbeaten in their last 38 matches.
In the 48th minute, sophomore forward Ashley Smith took control of the ball 25 yards in front of the goal, dribbled left past a defender and then left-footed a shot inside the right post. Seven minutes later, senior midfielder Brooke Ramsier floated a corner kick to the far post, and senior defender Taylor Jackson headed it in for a 3-0 lead.
The margin stretched to 4-0 when junior defender Jalynn Barron sent a pass across the middle to sophomore forward Nicole Smith, whose header was kicked into the net by junior forward Tori Gates.
“We talked about it in the locker room at halftime,” Gates said. “We knew we were going to come out stronger and get those goals. We knew we had to get the job done.”
Carroll got on the board with 12 minutes left on a header by senior forward MaKayla Braun, But the deficit was still huge against a Plano West team that had allowed more than one goal only twice this season.
The win gave Plano West a 12-1 record in its seven state appearances. The Wolves’ only loss came to Carrollton Creekview in 2004, and they have outscored opponents by a whopping 36-6 margin at the state tournament.
Plano West’s soccer tradition is rich, and this year’s team added to it.
“It shows just how dedicated we are and how much we really wanted it,” said Ramsier, who was named the championship game MVP. “At the start of the year, we knew we had a chance to do it again, and as it got closer and closer, we were like, guys, we’ve got to do this. We’ve come so far, we can’t not win.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.