Coppell vs. Marcus Soccer

Coppell and Marcus are among several state-ranked soccer teams in District 6-6A.

One of the state’s premier soccer districts began its conference schedule on Friday, with 6-6A sporting a handful of programs that have already earned recognition among the state’s elite this season.

Last year, the Flower Mound boys wound up capturing their first-ever state championship but return a brand-new lineup, while the Coppell girls’ district title defense comes amid a year with sky-high expectations. Expect the boys and girls programs from Marcus, Hebron and Lewisville to have their say in matters as well.

As the district schedule gets underway, here are projections on the four playoff teams that will emerge from 6-6A boys and girls soccer.

BOYS

1. Marcus

Fresh off a regional quarterfinal appearance, the Marauders have sprinted out of the gates to begin their 2020 campaign and carried an undefeated record into Friday’s district opener against Irving. Along the way, Marcus accrued a sweep of the North Texas Elite Showcase and outscored its last three preseason opponents, 13-0, capped by a 3-0 shutout of state-ranked Allen.

Those 13 goals were spread across seven different Marauders, highlighted by three scored by sophomore Zach Castro, and that balance should serve Marcus well in its pursuit of a district title.

2. Coppell

The Cowboys have strung together 22 consecutive playoff appearances and have the ammunition to extend that streak this season. That includes senior Tom Vazhekatt, who amassed a team-best eight goals during the preseason, and senior Sebastian Blaas, last year’s 6-6A Midfielder of the Year.

Although Coppell sports just a .500 record at 4-4 heading into district play, the results include four setbacks against state-ranked opponents. Expect things to level out for the Cowboys as 6-6A action begins.

3. Lewisville

The Farmers have missed out on the postseason the past two years after qualifying in 2017, which snapped an 18-year drought. Early returns in 2020 suggest an improved outlook for Lewisville, which racked up noteworthy non-district verdicts over programs like Southlake Carroll and Lake Dallas.

Entering the week at 7-1-1, the Farmers cracked the state polls at Top Drawer Soccer as the No. 19 squad in Texas and look to carry that momentum into a daunting 6-6A campaign.

4. Flower Mound

There might not be a team in the state that’s tougher to pinpoint than the reigning Class 6A state champions. Despite the Jaguars’ newfound championship pedigree, head coach David Doyle and his staff have had to essentially start from scratch after losing practically its entire roster to graduation.

The lone holdover is a key one, though, and junior Landon Leach — last season’s 6-6A Goalkeeper of the Year — is enough to give the Jaguars a fighting chance against anyone in the district. How the goal-scoring materializes, however, will go a long way toward determining Flower Mound’s outlook this season.

GIRLS

1. Coppell

The Cowgirls entered the playoffs ranked among the nation’s top five before running into eventual state champion Southlake Carroll in the regional quarterfinals. Coppell’s powerhouse stature hasn’t diminished in the slightest after going unbeaten through its preseason schedule and outscoring opponents, 18-2, leading up to district play.

Ranked atop Top Drawer Soccer’s state and national polls, the Cowgirls sport an embarrassment of riches — be it Haley Roberson, Michelle Pak, Jocelyn Alonzo, Katie Odum or star goalkeeper Lauren Kellett, who has pitched four shutouts in six matches this season.

2. Marcus

The Lady Marauders are fresh off a commanding effort at the Duncanville Kickoff, during which they outscored their three opponents, 20-0, to cruise to first place and carry a 9-1 record into the week. Sporting a staggering plus-30 goal differential on the season, Marcus’ wealth of scoring options is among the deepest in the Metroplex with Piper Hemperly, Kelly Van Gundy, Bella Campos and Sarah Wilson among those at head coach Chad Hobbs’ disposal.

3. Flower Mound

Another playoff casualty of Carroll’s run to state supremacy, the Lady Jaguars have scored a measure of revenge early into the season after besting the Lady Dragons in a non-district collision, 1-0, at the Allison Horn Showcase.

Flower Mound entered the week ranked No. 4 in the state, per Top Drawer Soccer, after amassing a 6-0-1 record on the strength of four matches with at least three goals scored. Junior Tatum Beck, last year’s 6-6A Newcomer of the Year, along with seniors Abby Smith and Delaney Wells have helped key the Lady Jaguars’ strong start.

4. Hebron

Ranked No. 16 in the state by Top Drawer Soccer, the Lady Hawks have steered recent results toward the win column after a string of ties throughout the preseason. Hebron has bested the likes of Keller and Arlington Bowie and sports a dynamic one-two punch on the attack between seniors Olivia Hasler and Briley Weatherford.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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