ROUND ROCK -- The Southlake Carroll substitutes stand rather than sit on the bench during the Lady Dragons soccer matches.
Well, at least until the game is in hand, which on Thursday in the UIL Class 5A state semifinal took until the second half as Carroll secured a 3-0 victory against San Antonio MacArthur.
The Lady Dragons (23-4-4) advance to the Class 5A state championship match at 11 a.m. Saturday at Round Rock ISD Stadium.
A pair of second-half goals from Carroll midfielder Monica Alvarado led the Lady Dragons.
“This is the state tournament and we’re in it to win it, that’s what we’re saying,” Alvarado said. “We’re not going home losing, we’re not. We’re in this to win it.”
Carroll meets the Plano East/Houston Clear Lake winner. Plano East/Houston Clear Lake X-X in Thursday’s second semifinal match.
Carroll had the better of play in the opening half, but completely dominated the match in the second half as MacArthur (24-2-1) rarely crossed into the Lady Dragons defensive third of the field.
“We talked about slowing the game down just a bit and at the end of the first half it started opening the game up a bit in the midfield,” Carroll coach Matt Colvin said. “We said when we get possession we just needed to hang onto the ball.”
Alvarado opened the scoring six minutes into the second half off a corner kick that rattled around the penalty area before Alvarado poked it home.
Carroll added a second goal with 20:02 left in the match off a sharply executed restart.
Lady Dragons defender Leslie Shurtleff drove the restart into the penalty area from the left flank. Carroll’s Lexis Learmonth timed her run perfectly to one-touch the cross home for the second goal. Alvarado added a second goal with 15:31 left off an Annie Kendzior assist.
In the opening half, the Lady Dragons dictated play for the first 30 minutes, taking a 7-2 advantage in shots.
Carroll forward Nikki Crocco had an attempt in the 10th minute strike the post. Another shot struck the crossbar in the second half.
Carroll’s signature defense kept an organized shape and MacArthur’s chances were the bi-product of Lady Dragons mistakes rather than the Brahmas breaking down Carroll’s backline.