The Grapevine Faith girls soccer team had high expectations this season, and fully met those expectations when it carried off the TAPPS Division II championship trophy last week at Waco ISD Stadium.
The Lions capped a 20-1 season with a 4-0 domination of Corpus Christi Incarnate Word in the final to claim the program’s first-ever state title.
“It was really exciting,” sophomore Peyton Brandenburg said. “After watching our guys team year after year win state championships, you just want to win one.”
Brandenburg scored twice for the Lions, while senior Ivy Guice also added a pair of goals in the second half. Brandenburg was the primary scoring threat for Faith this season, but coach Cat Meyer was quick to point out her supporting cast.
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“She has great support all around her,” Meyer said. “Our midfielders like Catherine Carter, Claire Lewis and Alexa Spain, all win 50-50 balls that allow Peyton to be more creative and not just be the only person getting forward.”
Meyer said she also felt a defensive shift from man marking helped them finish off this season after tripping up in the state semifinals a year ago.
“We were healthy, we were ready and we wanted a taste of that state title,” she said, adding that the team’s unity was probably the most important element overall.
“They’re main strength is that they have great chemistry. Altogether, from the seniors down to the freshmen, it’s not like different levels. It’s all one unit and they all love each other. They don’t treat each other as a senior or junior or sophomore or freshman. They treat each other as ‘This is our team. How can we get better?’”
The championship is extra special for Meyer, who was also a player at Faith, twice reaching the state semifinals before graduating in 2011. She took over the program last year.
“It means a lot that I was able to coach them and get them to the state championship game and win it in only my second year of coaching,” she said.
“We couldn’t have done it without her, honestly,” Brandenburg added. “Her and coach [Jon] Brooks were such a great coaching staff to help us through each hump and rough patch along the way.”