Mansfield Sports

Jags’ run ends in Round 4

The season came to an end for the Summit boys soccer team last week, but not before finishing second in district competition and advancing four rounds in the postseason.

Coach David McDonald said he was very satisfied with how his team performed throughout the season and said that he definitely counts this year a success.

“I am very happy with the way things went this season,” McDonald said. “We kind of got a rhythm going in district and realized that we were in a good position moving forward, and had a real chance of winning a district championship this year. We were able to lock up one of those top four spots, so our guys knew they could focus on going to the playoffs and try to make the most of it.

“After everyone else got beat in the first round from our district, and were able to go four rounds, that was very satisfying for us as a program.”

The Jaguars lost to Trophy Club Byron Nelson in the regional quarterfinals, and McDonald said it was a rough game for Summit.

“It was just a bad night for us,” McDonald said. “Things just didn't go very well. In the first half, we had two players hurt, including one that did not start. That was a difference, because you can't get to that point in the playoffs and not have your best kids out there.

“We made a mistake at the very end of the first half where we made a foul that caused a free kick and resulted in a goal for them. Right in the beginning of the second half, we ended up in a foot race toward our goal ... one of my defenders fouled him and got a red card. Then they converted another free kick into a goal.”

McDonald said that he hopes his players, particularly his seniors, take away a couple of things from this season.

“I hope they can take some pride in the fact that they didn't let their circumstances kind of dictate how their season was going to go,” he said. “It would have been easy for them to kind of write it off and say, ‘Man, look how many young guys are on the varsity this year; we're not going to be very good, so we won't really push ourselves really hard,’ but that's not what happened.

“The guys worked really hard and decided not to let the season pass them by. They forced those younger guys to step up and play as hard as they could, and it paid off for us.”

McDonald said that things are shaping up well for next season.

“From that aspect, it will be good,” McDonald said. “We do have a lot of seniors graduating, but we have a lot of experienced players returning, as well. A lot of them are already in place, which was not the case last year ... I think the guys looking forward to our new district next year and looking at the success we had this year will realize that we can make this happen again.”