MANSFIELD — A Class 5A area-round match that took a shootout to settle was no surprise to the Mansfield girls soccer team.
Frankly, they expected it.
So, after a week of more intensive practice on penalty kicks, senior forward Taylor King remained faithful to her typical PK approach, drilling the game-winning shot into the top right corner of the net, sending Mansfield another round deeper into the playoffs past Coppell Friday, 1-0.
“I didn’t change it up and I made it,” King simply said.
While King believed she was “pretty sure she blacked out” during the kick, the pressure of being the final kicker was greatly alleviated by a save by her senior keeper Sydney Newton on the shot prior, giving Mansfield (21-3-0) the advantage.
That save, diving to the left to throw her body in front of a low, hard shot, was ultimately a tremendous show of the Abilene Christian soccer commit’s goal keeping abilities, but a little luck never hurts, she said.
“It was mostly a guess,” Newton admitted.
The game entered the shootout a 0-0 tie, but not without a heart-stopping moment for Newton as regulation wound to a close.
Coppell freshman forward Madeline Guderian ripped a shot on a breakaway from Newton’s left that scorched past the keeper, destined for twine with a minute to play.
“I thought it was going in, I was just praying that it wasn’t,” Newton said.
Luckily for Mansfield, Newton and her coach, Jay Zeller, the shot found the front of the far post and ricocheted back into the field of play.
“Thank God for that post,” Zeller said.
All of regulation and the two overtime periods remained a defensive struggle, with both units denying each team a precious through ball to set up a shot.
Mansfield’s defensive four used the three years of experience they have with each other to successfully reject every possible Coppell (17-2-6) run throughout the game, Zeller said.
“That back four has been solid for us all year,” he said. “It’s the reason we’re in the position we’re in.”
Through the narrowest of margins, Mansfield’s season continues, facing the winner of Waco Midway and Flower Mound Marcus in the regional quarterfinal. The time and location was yet to be determined.
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