Mansfield girls ousted by Coppell’s second-half goal

Posted Thursday, Apr. 03, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Coppell got a second-half goal from Sarah King and that was all the scoring in the Cowgirls’ 1-0 victory over Mansfield in a Class 5A Region I area-round match at Irving Schools Stadium on Thursday.

It was the fourth consecutive year the teams have met in the postseason, and Coppell (13-4-6) avenged last season’s shootout loss to the Tigers.

Mansfield (22-2-1) knew King was the Cowgirls’ primary threat, and built their defensive game plan around stifling her.

“We knew that we had to shut down Sarah King, and we did that except for one play,” Mansfield coach Jay Zeller said.

King’s goal came in the 45th minute. She was off to the left of goal about 25 yards out, and unleashed a dipping shot that dropped over the outstretched hands of Tigers keeper Alexa Sanchez.

“Their goal was incredible. I don’t think there’s many keepers that could have saved that,” Mansfield co-captain McKayla Paulson said.

Mansfield did have chances to equalize, but none found the net.

“We had opportunities inside the six and inside the 18, but they did a great job of clearing, and the keeper made a couple of great saves late,” Zeller said.

Much of the first half featured quality buildups and passing, but the defenses limited quality scoring chances.

The first good opportunity came in the eighth minute when Mansfield’s Sidney LeRoy dribbled into the center of the field and fired a left-footed shot from about 15 yards that Coppell goalkeeper Rachel Johnson dove to her left to smother.

Eleven minutes later, Coppell produced its best chance of the first half. Defender Madeline Guderian chipped the ball on goal from about 30 yards out and struck the top part of the crossbar.

Mansfield earned the first corner kick of the game in the 35th minute. Marcy Schengber’s deep service was met first-time by Jordan Tittsworth, but the shot was always wide left.

The Cowgirls put together another threat late in the half. The ball dropped for Grace Vowell to the right of goal, but she couldn’t get all of the ball and her shot was saved by Sanchez.

Just two minutes into the second half, Mansfield looked dangerous when Paulson ran onto a Hannah Webb pass inside the Cowgirls’ area, but Johnson came out to challenge and blocked Paulson’s touch.

Three minutes later, King scored to make it 1-0.

The Tigers responded and applied heavy pressure over the next few minutes.

“I knew it was still anyone’s game at that point,” Paulson said. “We very well could have had several goals toward the end, but it just didn’t fall our way.”

King nearly doubled Coppell’s lead in the 71st minute. She got behind the Mansfield defense and was in alone on Sanchez, but the keeper put King off just enough to force the shot wide right.

Over the last six minutes, Mansfield tried desperately to equalize. In the 74th minute, the ball bounced around inside the Coppell penalty area, but bodies in front of the goal deflected every opportunity the Tigers could muster.

In the waning seconds, Mansfield’s LeRoy launched a hard shot from about 25 yards that had promise, but Johnson adjusted and was able to get in front of the ball to cradle it.

“I thought it was going in,” LeRoy said. “We were trying to turn and shoot it because the wind was going to carry it, but it didn’t go our way.”

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