NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Coppell routed Keller Central 4-0 at Birdville FA/AC on Friday to advance to its first boys soccer regional final since 2006.
The Cowboys (25-2-0) will face District 5-5A foe Flower Mound Marcus at 2 p.m. Saturday for a spot in the state tournament.
I told the guys this week that they havent played well in the playoffs yet, so tonight to have the composure that we did in a game as big as it was just showed a lot of character from our guys, Coppell coach Chad Rakestraw said.
Coppell dominated possession for much of the game. The Cowboys first goal came on a penalty kick by senior midfielder Drake Lovelady in the 10th minute. Lovelady added his second score in the 24th minute off a rebound of his own shot to give Coppell a 2-0 lead at the break.
Sophomore defenseman Stephen Tower extended the Cowboys lead to 3-0 off an assist from Jarrett Weaver with 26 minutes remaining in the second half. Six minutes later, junior midfielder Chris Madden scored the final goal of the match on an offering from senior forward Mitchell Parnell.
They did a good job of stretching out our defense and finding the guy on the back post, Keller Central coach Dave Maher said. We tried to deny them space and pressure, but they have such good movement within their system it was very tough to contain them and manage their speed.
The loss was a disappointing end to the most successful boys soccer season in Keller Centrals nine-year history at the varsity level.
The Chargers (15-5-6) rode a seven-game winning streak into Fridays match and allowed just two combined goals in their three previous playoff games.
This is a group of seniors who recommitted themselves to the program, they stepped up in leadership, they played so hard for each other all through the season and then really got hot right at the start of the playoffs, Maher said.
To go four rounds deep in the playoffs with this group is really special to me. Obviously its not the way we wanted to go out, but all credit to Coppell. They have a classy program and talent all over the field.
Coppell, who entered the playoffs as the top-ranked team in the state, has lost only lost once in its last 21 games a 1-0 defeat to Marcus on March 8.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret
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