Written by SportsDayDFW.com
4A Region II soccer finals: Score doesn't reflect HP girls' dominance in win over Wylie; Poteet boys headed to state
CARROLLTON — Highland Park’s victory against Wylie in a Class 4A Region II final was about as dominating as a 1-0 win can be.
Highland Park controlled the pace of the game and limited Wylie to just three shots on target — none of which required much effort by goalkeeper Sarah Howley.
“We spend a lot of time keeping possession and trying to break teams down,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “And we’re very fortunate that we have players that can do that.”
One of those players is Villanova signee Katie Martin. The senior captain scored her 39th goal of the season by heading in a free kick from Kate Summers in the 34th minute.
It was the second time in three games that Martin scored the lone goal in a 1-0 playoff victory at Standridge Stadium.
“We knew coming into this it was going to be tough and physical,” Martin said. “We’re fortunate to come away with a win.”
Top-ranked, unbeaten and defending state champion Highland Park (24-0-5) will have the opportunity to defend its title this week in Georgetown.
Wylie (21-9-1) was playing in its first regional final since 2006, which resulted in another close loss to Highland Park.
Wylie goalkeeper Jennifer Hiddink was a big reason her team stayed competitive. Highland Park took 19 shots, and eight of them were on target. Hiddink saved all but Martin’s sharp header.
Wylie was able to make a few runs but never capitalized.
“The key today was keeping possession,” Martin said. “We’ve really been working on playing possession out of the back and through the middle. Today we did a good job of not giving the ball away.”
Mesquite Poteet 1, Kilgore 0: Travis Avant was called up from the junior varsity squad to Mesquite Poteet’s varsity six weeks ago.
On Saturday the sophomore scored the game-winner in Poteet’s 1-0 victory against Kilgore in a 4A Region II final at Standridge Stadium.
“It’s been a fun ride,” Avant said. “I’m pretty speechless right now.”
Senior forward Carlos Cardenas made an incredible run up the sideline, beat his defender and then found Avant just outside the six-yard box. The 67th-minute goal was all Poteet needed to reach its first state tournament since 2009.
Poteet (23-1-3) has won all five of its playoff games by one goal.
“Survive and advance,” coach Colby Peek said. “That’s what this group does. It talks about their character to me. When it comes down to those games, character, composure and pride are all things we talk about.”
Kilgore, which was playing in its fourth straight regional final, finished with a 22-4-4 record.
Poteet had 14 shots on target in the game, but Kilgore keeper Juan Perales was unflappable. The junior keeper, who shut down Frisco Wakeland in Friday’s semifinal, almost single-handedly kept his team close.
Despite his prowess in the net, Peek said his team never lost confidence.
“We knew we were going to win,” Peek said. “They had that feeling and that confidence. That’s a testament to the senior leadership on this team.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN.