Rare is the sport in which Southlake Carroll has never had a win against an opponent in a series. Oh, there may have been that occastional one-off meeting where Carroll fell and has never faced that opponent again.
But when it came to the Lady Dragons soccer program against McKinney Boyd, Carroll was all thumbs. Prior to last week’s bi-district matchup, Carroll was 0-5 lifetime.
Now, it’s 1-5.
Thanks to a break on a shot that went off a Boyd defender in the final 32 seconds of the second overtime, Carroll (18-1-2) is still playing following a 2-1 victory. The Lady Dragons meet Belton in the Class 6A Region I area round playoff at 6 p.m. Thursday at Waco ISD Stadium.
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“It was something I didn’t even know about until after the game when it was pointed out to me,” Carroll head coach Matt Colvin said of the record against Boyd. “But it was probably a good thing, because we just went out there and played. None of that really matters.”
A game like that against a team that was coming from a really good soccer district was something Carroll handled. The Lady Dragons played in a rugged district in 5-6A along with Flower Mound, Flower Mound Marcus and Northwest Byron Nelson.
The match against Boyd featured similarities to Carroll’s Georgetown tournament game against The Woodlands in mid-January. Then, those teams were locked in a scoreless battle before the Lady Dragons scored twice in the final eight minutes to win, 2-0.
“It’s a mental thing, but the girls understand that they have been through things like this before and come out on the winning side,” Colvin said. “When you are experiencing all types of moments that could either be a tie game or you need to score late to win, it shows that you recognize how to react.
“That’s the benefit of being in a district that led up to this moment. There was the attention to detail.”
The “gentle” breeze
The forecast for Thursday’s playoff game in Waco is for no threat of rain, but winds coming in from the north at 16 miles per hour.
That’s pretty much negligible from the playoff game against McKinney Boyd. That matched faced sustained winds of up to 25 mph, with gusts jumping into the mid-30s. Those kinds of conditions are probably the toughest to handle, because the ball can take some bizarre bounces, and straight-on shots at the net or passes can look funny.
But then again, this program has played plenty of games in the unforgiving winds of March. Winter is leaving. Spring is settling in.
“Our mindset is that if it’s too windy for them, then it’s perfect for us,” Colvin said. “It’s the same thing about the cold. If it’s too cold for them, it’s perfect for us. It’s all about how you want to handle those conditions mentally.”