Southlake Carroll girls fall to record-setting Plano West in state soccer final

Posted Saturday, Apr. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Plano West claimed a record sixth state UIL girls soccer championship Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Southlake Carroll at Birkelbach Field.

The Wolves (28-0-2), who surpassed Highland Park in titles, also finished the season undefeated and became the first Class 5A girls team to defend its title since winning three straight from 2000-2002. Coach Carley Phillips was a freshman on the 2002 championship team and has won a pair of state titles in her first two seasons as a coach.

“It’s just an extremely special thing to win it once as a player, and once as a coach is amazing. To come back and do it again is so special,” Phillips said. “This group of girls is phenomenal to be with, and they did everything.”

The Dragons hadn’t given up more than one goal in a match all season long and had outscored its previous six postseason opponents 18-2.

“We met just about every one of our goals this season, we just fell short today,” Carroll coach Matt Colvin said. “I’ll say this over and over: it all falls back on our senior leadership guiding us through the year and making sure that we stayed on course.”

Both teams created a pair of opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the match. Plano West fired a pair of shots from 25-plus yards out, only for Carroll goalkeeper Victoria Stephens to make easy saves, and the Dragons’ deep jaunts into Wolves’ territory were cleared.

As the first half progressed Plano West dominated possession and started a series of attacks deep in Carroll’s zone, but the Dragons’ defense held out to keep the game scoreless at the break.

Carroll’s reprieve would be brief, though, as the Wolves came out firing in the second half, scoring three times in the opening 16 minutes.

Freshman forward Lakyn Pope began the onslaught just 22 seconds after the break on a 20-yard floater over Stephens, who had come out from the goal to challenge. Plano West sophomore forward Ashley Smith added the second goal eight minutes later after a Dragons defender misplayed a long kick deep into the zone.

Senior defender Taylor Jackson headed in the third score in the 56th minute on a perfectly placed corner kick to the far post from Brooke Ramsier, who collected her second consecutive MVP trophy after the game.

“At halftime we were like ‘OK, we’re still tied, we can do this,’” Ramsier said. “Then once you get that first goal the momentum starts going and we’re like ‘one’s not enough, we need more.’ So I think it definitely pushes you, because nobody wants to go to PKs.”

The Wolves took a commanding 4-0 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining on another corner. Jalynn Barron took the corner, which was headed by Nicole Smith before eventually being driven into the back of the net by Tori Gates.

Carroll (30-3), which made its first appearance in the title game since winning in 2008, avoided the shutout in the 68th minute on a header by MaKayla Braun.

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JohnsonJarret

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