The Keller girls soccer team handled its business in West Texas and the reward is a Region I quarterfinal game closer to home this week.
The Keller Timber Creek girls were not quite as fortunate and ended their season in Abilene, losing to Wolfforth Frenship in the area round game.
The Keller girls, 19-2-2, fired on all cylinders as they posted a 5-0 win over Midland at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.
The win propelled them to their quarterfinal game with Mansfield, played on Tuesday at Birdville’s Fine Arts/Activities Center. See dfwvarsity.com for updates.
Mansfield, 19-2-1, got past Odessa in its area game.
After starting a little sluggish against Arlington Lamar in the opening round, Keller head coach Billy Griffiths was pleased to see his Lady Indians play more efficiently against Midland.
“We created a lot of chances against Lamar but didn’t score early,” Griffiths said of the 3-1 win in the first round. “We won the game but I don’t know if it was first-round jitters. Our focus was to be more efficient and we definitely were against Midland.”
Keller led 3-0 at the half against Midland, with Gabriella Coleman, McKenna Pate and Cami Floth all scoring goals and A.K. Ward adding two assists. Berklee Peters scored twice in the second half for Keller.
Griffiths said he expects his team to be able to step up their productivity as they take on the Lady Tigers before hopefully moving on to the regional semifinals later in the week.
Mansfield will be a step up in terms of competitiveness, but Griffiths said the focus is more on his own team than the opponent.
“We’ll definitely have to play well, but we just want to focus on what we can do,” he said. “Hopefully, things will be positive for us if we play as capably as we know how we can play.”
Mansfield head coach George Velten has watched Keller play and said this will be his squad’s toughest game to date.
If the Lady Indians play up to their ability and top Mansfield, they would take on the winner of Flower Mound Marcus and Allen’s quarterfinal matchup on Friday.
Timber Creek’s 4-0 loss to Frenship marked the end of the school’s most successful season.
“I’m proud of them. It was the best season in school history. We shattered every school record,” said Timber Creek head coach Mike King.
The Lady Falcons finished with 19 wins, a school mark, and lost to just two teams — Keller and Frenship.
Among other records set for the team were high marks in goals, assists, district wins and goals differential.
“We had been getting away with being young all year,” said King. “We played great but we got to the playoffs and were playing teams full of seniors.
“You’ve got to hand it to Coach (Gery) Joy,” King said of the Frenship coach. “They had a great game plan for us and we just weren’t connected like we have been all year. No one’s to blame — no coaches, no kids.”
King noted the team was further developing the program’s culture with its best-ever season.
“The kids bought into being Falcons. ‘Falcon Family’ is going to each other’s games, encouraging each other in the hallway and creating a culture and tradition,” King said.
With a young team, Timber Creek will lose four seniors and a standout junior.
Haley Ward, Peyton Chronister, Serena Gomez and Hannah Clark will all graduate and Courtney Sebazco will follow her dream of playing with a development academy next year, King said.
“It’s been a fun season and I’m looking forward to next season,” King said.