Injuries? No problem. Revolving lineup? No problem. Wondering who was going to be available? No problem.
Grapevine’s girls soccer program not only took care of the rest of its District 6-5A opponents, it pretty much dismantled them. The Lady Mustangs (14-5-3, 11-1) officially wrapped up the district title with a 4-1 victory over Birdville on March 8. They then cruised to an 8-0 victory over Fort Worth Eastern Hills in the regular season finale this past Friday.
Now second-year head coach Steve McBride and his staff can use spring break as a time to heal for a team that has been through its share of injuries. Grapevine is playing a non-district warmup match against Kennedale this coming Monday at 6 p.m. at Mustang-Panther Stadium.
Grapevine will open the Class 5A Region I bi-district playoffs against Saginaw Boswell at 6 p.m. on March 24 at Saginaw High School’s Rough Rider Stadium.
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The final week of the regular season was the week in which McBride finally had his full lineup return. The program has endured a season where 19 players have dealt with some kind of injury.
McBride recently mentioned that all of the adversity benefited underclassmen who otherwise were going to be playing on the junior varsity team. That sudden experience gave those players more experience for not only this season but for 2017 and beyond.
One of the issues that this team faced is that it struggled to find consistency. As good as this team played for one or two matches, it would struggle against another team. But that was due to health.
“We know we’re a good team,” McBride said. “We’re just finding that cohesion and getting everyone into those significant roles. We finally have the health and we have the depth. I think we’re further ahead.”
Breaking down the season
One of the most interesting things about this team is how well the wealth was distributed throughout the season.
Grapevine had 21 different players score a goal this season. Of the 76 goals that it scored this year, senior forward Jordan Slim (14) and sophomore forward Sophia Smith (10) were the only players who scored in double figures.
However, the season saw the emergence of freshman Ashton Wright. In only 14 matches, Wright scored eight goals and added seven assists. McBride has seen her rapid rise to where she is likely going to be rewarded with some postseason district superlative awards.
But note the efficiency of the Grapevine attack. Grapevine players combined for 64 assists on the aforementioned goal total. That’s 84.2 percent of the time that a pass led to a goal.
“We have a variety of kids that we can use in different moments of the game,” McBride said. “We can put anyone in there and we have a chance to score in front of the goals. That can come from our offense and out set pieces.”
Colleyville Heritage update
The Lady Panthers (5-5-1, 7-6A) have qualified for the Class 6A state playoffs under first-year head coach Monte Pace. Despite a tough week that included losses to Coppell and Carroll, Colleyville Heritage had taken care of business against the district’s second-tier teams in Hurst L.D. Bell, Euless Trinity and Haltom to advance.