SOUTHLAKE — It seemed like poetic justice when Southlake Carroll senior forward Sophie Groff scored the Dragons final goal in a 3-0 victory Friday over Arlington Lamar in the Class 5A bi-district match.
Carroll (24-2-0) advances to play the winner between El Paso Franklin and Odessa Permian.
The Dragons Carroll (24-2-0) continually found open gaps between Lamar defenders to send long through balls for the Dragons forwards to chase in their offensive zone, but no matter how great the connection to Groff, nor how many defenders she managed to weave through, Groff, the Dragons scoring leader, couldnt find the back of the net.
We do have a lot of depth [at forward] and we were trying to find the right piece of the puzzle thats going to give us the chance to win games, Carroll coach Matt Colvin said. We moved players around and tried to put Sophie in some different spots.
Not that the game was very much in question. Freshman forward Grace Cory scored netted what would be the game-winning goal 20 minutes into the first half. Cory had just re-entered the game when she ripped a shot from close to 30 yards out that hooked into the back corner of the net.
Despite that Carroll dominated the Vikings (11-11-2) in possession throughout the game, Lamars defense remained stingy. through the rest of the first half,frame, trapping Carroll offside on a through hopeful long passes.
For the most part they did really well and they kind of shut us down a few times, said Groff, who opened the second half by weaving her way deep into the offensive zone for a handful of chances that sailed over the goal or were thwarted by a final Lamar defender.
Theyre strong and I think their whole goal was to knock us off the ball, and it kind of threw us off our game a little bit. But in the end, I think we followed through and did what we needed to do. Groff said.
Before Groff scored, senior midfielder Meghan Murphy connected with a header off a corner kick by senior defender Alison Savage that beat a diving Lamar goalkeeper Katie Baugh 12 minutes into the second half.
Six minutes later, Groff dribbled her way into the Lamar box with one defender to beat. She made a quick fake, leaving a clear shot at the goal. The ensuing shot found the far corner of the goal without much that Baugh could do to stop it.
It was about time, Groff said jokingly after the game about her goal.
Theres no question Groff will be key in Carrolls march through the Class 5A playoffs, including the next match against the winner between El Paso Franklin and Odessa Permian, but Groff looked to her team to take the lead Friday.
My team kind of helped me get there, because I knew I wasnt doing very well, and they kind of pushed me to keep going, Groff said. I owe it to them.
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