The UIL state soccer tournament kicks off Thursday at Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field, and Trophy Club Nelson has a chance to pull off a rare double.
No high school has claimed two soccer titles since Richardson accomplished the feat in 1985. Schools were split into Class 5A and 4A brackets in 1999, but still no sweep. Of the 16 teams to reach this point, eight are from the Metroplex, four are from Houston, and three are from South Texas.
Class 5A semifinals
Coppell (21-1-2) vs. McKinney Boyd (15-4-6), 4 p.m. Thursday
Coppell will try to defend its state championship after rolling through the Region I bracket, outscoring opponents 14-2. McKinney Boyd had to score late in games early in the playoffs before advancing to last week’s regional tournament. Boyd beat Tyler Lee 2-0 in overtime in the second round and followed that with a 3-2 victory over Richardson Pearce after scoring a go-ahead goal in the second half. Coppell beat Boyd 5-1 in January.
Brownsville Lopez (22-2-1) vs. Fort Bend Clements (21-2-3), 6 p.m. Thursday
Brownsville Lopez has had a playoff run marked by close decisions, beating Brownsville Rivera 3-2 in the regional championship game. That win preceded a 2-1 win over San Antonio Clark, a 3-2 win over Los Fresnos and a 3-2 win over Palmview. Fort Bend Clements is coming off a 2-1 victory over Pasadena in the Region IV title game. The Rangers have held opponents to a goal or less in each of their playoff games.
Final: 1 p.m. Saturday
Class 4A semifinals
Trophy Club Nelson (26-1-2) vs. Frisco Wakeland (22-4-3), 4 p.m. Friday
Nelson was able to continue its strong playoff run against El Paso Andress in the Region I championship game, getting up on the Eagles 5-0 before giving up two late goals. The Bobcats had not given up more than a goal in the playoffs until that point. They shut out Brewer, Gainesville and Mansfield Summit in the postseason. Frisco Wakeland is coming off close wins over Frisco Liberty (2-1) and Longview Pine Tree (3-2).
Pharr Valley View (25-2) vs. Houston Lee (19-4-1), 6 p.m. Friday
Valley View has proved it can put goals on the board in a hurry, scoring 14 against Brownsville Frontier College Prep in the first round and scoring at least four goals in each game since. Houston Lee has shown an emphasis on defense, shutting out its first five postseason opponents, including defending state champion Waco University in the regional semifinals.
Final: 6 p.m. Saturday
Class 5A semifinals
Hebron (22-2-2) vs. Katy Cinco Ranch (21-1-3), 11 a.m. Thursday
Hebron’s path to the state tournament has been a mix of blowouts and tight games, as the Lady Hawks beat L.D. Bell 6-2, then Waco Midway 7-0, before edging Midlothian 1-0. From there, they cruised past Keller 4-1, before squeezing by Southlake Carroll 1-0. Cinco Ranch hasn’t given up a goal in the playoffs, outscoring opponents 18-0.
San Antonio Reagan (21-1-3) vs. Plano West (19-2-4), 1 p.m. Thursday
Plano West scored 15 goals in its first three playoff games, before beating Round Rock 1-0 and McKinney 1-0 in last week’s regional tournament. Freshman AG Cooper and sophomore Lakyn Pope both lead the Wolves with five goals in the postseason. Reagan, the winner of District 26-5A, suffered its only loss of the season on Jan. 11 against Cinco Ranch, 2-1.
Final: 11 a.m. Saturday
Class 4A semifinals
Wylie East (23-1-1) vs. Friendswood (22-4-3), 11 a.m. Friday
Wylie East will be making its first trip to the state tournament, after winning 1-0 against Highland Park, which reached the state championship game last year and won the 4A title in 2012 against Nelson. Friendswood has relied on strong defensive performances throughout the playoffs, shutting out Houston Davis, Houston Stratford, Lumberton and College Station. The win over Stratford came via shootout.
Austin Vandegrift (17-3-2) vs. Trophy Club Nelson (22-2-5), 1 p.m. Friday
Nelson has had little trouble advancing to the state tournament after falling to eventual state champion Denton Guyer last season. The Bobcats have outscored their opponents 24-2 in the postseason, shutting out White Settlement Brewer, Gainesville, Lubbock Monterey and Fort Worth Arlington Heights on their way to Georgetown. Vandegrift has been just as sharp, outscoring its opponents 17-1 in the playoffs.
Final: 4 p.m. Saturday