Legacy takes 1-0 lead in state semifinals
Playing in its first state tournament game in program history, Mansfield Legacy dominated from start to finish, scoring two goals in each half on its way to a 4-0 victory over Dripping Springs in a 5A girls soccer state semifinal game at Birkelbach Field.
Legacy (26-1-2) will meet 6-time state champion Highland Park in the 5A state championship at 11 a.m. on Saturday. It’s the first time any team from Mansfield ISD has reached the state tourney.
“There were nerves, but once we hit the locker room, those went away,” Legacy coach Zachary Hallak said. “We just needed to play our game like we always do and they came out and did that the entire time.
“It’ll be business as usual on Saturday. We’re just going to do what got us here all season.“
The Broncos held the Tigers (22-5-3) without a shot in the first half. They got on the board in the 21st minute on a goal from senior midfielder Brigid Murray after Dripping Springs deflected two attempts.
“I saw the ball coming and I was wide open in the back,” Murray said. “Andrea had a defender on her and I was praying for the ball to come through. It did and I looked up at the goal once, looked down and shot it. I was so excited, it was the best feeling ever.”
It didn’t take long to add to the lead as Tigers’ goal keeper Elizabeth Jones stopped a high-sailing attempt that landed in front of her and sophomore Viviana Garcia lofted the deflection over Jones’ head and into the net in the 27th minute.
Coming out of intermission, Legacy extended its lead, 3-0, when freshman Kara Murray assisted on junior Andrea Garcia’s header in the 45th minute.
The Broncos put the exclamation mark on the match when Viviana Garcia was fouled in the box and senior Ashley Perez hit the penalty kick with 14:33 left to play.
“We’ve been attacking all season long. I think we have the strongest offense in the state. The offense has been on fire lately and we like to take advantage of it,” Murray said.
With senior Tatum Krueger in goal, Legacy picked up its fifth-straight shutout and 21st this season.
“Dripping Springs is a fantastic team. They have two great forwards we had to deal with, but we just wanted to bring our game to them,” Hallak said.
Highland Park (25-1-3), which is at state for a UIL girls record 12th time, defeated Kingwood Park, 4-1. Texas commit Presley Echols scored two goals on six shots. Maja Davison and Megan O’Neal also found the back of the net.