Southlake Carroll’s bid for a second consecutive state tournament appearance was derailed in a 1-0 loss to Hebron in the Class 5A Region I final at Northwest ISD Stadium on Saturday.
Alanna Castaneda’s stunning shot just after halftime was the difference and was the only goal conceded by Carroll in the playoffs.
“For them to come out and get a start like that in the second half — that was a once-in-a-lifetime shot — that really put us on our heels,” Carroll coach Matt Colvin said.
Carroll (23-2-1) had opportunities to level the score in the second half, but couldn’t convert.
The Dragons had the advantage of a stiff wind in the first half and came out firing.
Twice in the first minute, Grace Cory took shots from distance looking to test Hebron goalkeeper Molly Lansford, but both were easily saved.
In the 12th minute, Allie Luna made a nice turn and fired from the right side about 20 yards out, but her shot stayed left of the goal.
Hebron (21-2-2) had its best early chance into the wind in the 24th minute, when Logan Layn aimed for the right side of the goal from the top of the 18-yard box, but Dragons keeper Jamie Phelps was in position for the save.
Neither team could assert itself over the first 40 minutes and the 0-0 halftime score accurately reflected the play on the field.
Like Carroll, Hebron came out firing with the wind, only the Hawks were able to cash in. Just 19 seconds into the second half, Castaneda’s laser beam shot from 25 yards out found the upper left corner of the goal for the 1-0 Hebron lead.
Layn almost doubled the lead three minutes later, when the ball fell to her feet inside the area, but Phelps closed her down to deflect the shot away.
Almost midway through the second half, Carroll came close to equalizing on a set piece. Elise Landers’ restart service drifted across the face of the goal dangerously, but no Dragons player could direct it into the net.
Seconds later, Mary Meehan found herself in front of goal, but her effort was blocked away by a sliding Lansford.
In the 69th minute Hebron came within inches of adding a second goal. Cailee Dennis’ left-footed shot from the right side was bending toward goal, but glanced off the post.
Hebron, with wind assisting, was able to keep Carroll from mounting much pressure in the closing minutes, allowing the Hawks to preserve the lead and their berth in the state tournament.