Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Coppell boys win physical match against Hebron on penalty kicks
LEWISVILLE — Coppell finally advanced past Hebron in the Class 5A boys state soccer playoffs on Tuesday — barely.
Coppell needed penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie through overtime to defeat Hebron and reach the Region I semifinals against Keller Central on Friday. Hebron defeated Coppell in bi-district the last two years.
“We definitely hung our heads a little when it was tied in regulation and then overtime,” Coppell coach Chad Rakestraw said. “But I kept walking around saying, ‘You’re going to win this.’ ”
Coppell senior goalie Dante DiCiolli blocked three penalty kicks and had a fourth block roll in to hold Hebron to one penalty kick goal. Coppell got penalty kick goals from Chris Madden, Mitchell Parnell and Nick Hazelrigg.
DiCiolli alternates with Dustin Hodges, who played the second half but went out after a collision in the box in the final minute. DiCiolli, coming off a strong summer of goalkeeping that helped Chelsea Solar ’95 to the national tournament, returned to spark Coppell’s trip back to the regional tournament.
“I was still [mentally] in the game when I came back in,” DiCiolli said. “I was nervous but we’ve got the players who can score. Having shootout experience helps. I don’t know if I’ve ever had three blocks like that, but you just make that last-second decision of which way you think they are shooting and use your whole body to stop it.”
In a physical match with five yellow cards, Hebron had upset tradition on its side after knocking Coppell out the past two years. Last year, Hebron ousted a nationally ranked Coppell squad that had rolled to a district title.
Coppell seemed determined to avoid an upset with dominant play in the first half. Coppell led 1-0 as midfielder Drake Lovelady calmly netted a penalty kick to the left side. Lovelady had two penalty kick goals in Coppell’s 3-1 victory over Waco Midway. Coppell’s DiCiolli barely came into play as Coppell forced Hebron goalie Abraham Pina to make a half-dozen saves.
With a 1-0 halftime deficit, Hebron took control and tied the score in the 44th minute on a goal by Paul Luna, who made a nice high-kick touch goal from 10 yards out on an assist from senior captain Connor Driscoll.
Hebron came close to winning in regulation as a flurry of shots with 45 seconds remaining missed to force two 10-minute overtimes. Hebron outshot Coppell 3-2 in overtime but neither could convert before going to penalty kicks.