Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Genius, luck play role in Highland Park girls soccer win over Frisco Wakeland
Villanova signee’s score all that was needed in high-profile sectional
CARROLLTON — A goal was going to come one of two ways, Highland Park coach Stewart Brown told his team at halftime Friday night.
“I told them it was going to be a little bit of luck or a little bit of genius,” he said after Highland Park’s 1-0 sectional win against Frisco Wakeland. “And I think that goal had both.”
Indeed, the ball bounced just the right way off a throw-in from Sara Summers into the six-yard box during the 48th minute. Senior captain Katie Martin collected it, created space for a shot and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
It was all Highland Park needed in a high-profile meeting between the last two UIL state champions at Carrollton’s Standridge Stadium.
Highland Park, the top-ranked team in the area and state, advances to face Lovejoy in a Region II quarterfinal next week.
“We came in with the mindset this was going to be a tough game,” said Martin, a Villanova signee who scored her 36th goal of the season. “We’re ecstatic about the win.”
The game was every bit as close as one might expect when two of the state’s best teams meet.
Wakeland (23-3-2) dominated possession in the first half but did little to create scoring chances. Highland Park (21-0-5) had several good runs on counterattacks but never capitalized.
Everything changed at the start of the second half. Highland Park took control of possession and created numerous chances before and after Martin’s game-winner.
“We knew we were going to have to fight and scrap for everything we got,” Brown said. “We had to defend more than we have defended all year. We just got the right break at the right time.”
Highland Park, which is riding a 45-game winning streak, hasn’t lost since Feb. 3, 2012.
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN