The Coppell girls soccer team brought the pressure early Friday against Southlake Carroll, firing off two shots within the first five minutes of the game.
But Carroll was able to stave off the Cowgirls just long enough to take a lead. And from that point, the Dragons kept Coppell’s chances to a minimum, holding on for a 1-0 win in a Class 5A Region I semifinal at Northwest ISD Stadium.
The Dragons (23-1-1) will play Hebron (19-2-2), a 4-1 winner over Keller, in the region championship game at noon Saturday at Northwest.
Coppell’s Sarah King and Jackie Nichols each got off strong shots on goal early in Friday’s game, but Carroll goalkeeper Jamie Phelps stopped both attempts. After slowly shifting the momentum back in their favor, the Dragons scored when Allisyn Gardner floated a ball into the back of the net in the 29th minute.
Coppell’s next best chance would be a header late in the half. Another header was saved by Phelps in the 52nd minute. Carroll held off a free kick in the final seconds for the win.
Carroll coach Matt Colvin said his players knew Coppell (14-5-7) would come out aggressive.
“That first 10 minutes is really critical, and I felt like we did an excellent job at absorbing pressure,” Colvin said. “And then as those 10 minutes elapsed we were able to take some chances.”
Colvin said at this point in the postseason, advancing is mostly a matter of getting an edge when you can, then holding on.
“The playoffs aren’t always about who can play the best soccer, it’s about who can grind out the win,” Colvin said. “And we were definitely able to do that today.”