Coppell head boys soccer coach James Balcom wasn’t able to be on the field with his Cowboys on Tuesday when they clinched a playoff berth for the 24th consecutive season.
Balcom was forced to quarantine due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but he watched the live feed of the 1-1 tie between his Cowboys and Flower Mound from the comforts of his house.
Despite the two teams playing to a tie, Coppell (12-8-3 overall, 8-4-2 conference) wrapped up second place in District 6-6A for a fifth consecutive year, while Flower Mound (11-5-4, 7-4-3) will finish in third place.
Marcus (18-2-3, 12-2-1) won the district title.
Plano (13-8-1, 8-6) settled for fourth place. The Wildcats could have moved up to second place Tuesday had they beaten Plano West, but instead, a 1-0 victory by the Wolves settled Plano's fate.
As for Coppell and Flower Mound, Tuesday’s match was chippy, heated and physical from the get-go, Balcom said.
“Both teams knew they were fighting for second place and played with a lot of emotion and passion,” he said. “We pride ourselves on hard work and a lot of times that turns into a physical match. We have to be smarter about some of our fouls, leading to dangerous opportunities for the other team.”
Coppell worked through those fouls to take a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Walker Stone. Preston Taylor, a sophomore, was credited with the assist.
It remained a 1-0 score until late in the game.
Flower Mound senior Joey Perryman got behind the Coppell defense and buried the tying goal.
“Our boys did a great job attacking flower mound early on and we're a little unlucky to not have a lead at halftime,” Balcom said. “We spoke to our defense about trying to prevent that and they did for majority of the game, but [Perryman] is a great player and made a great play to tie it.”
Details for Coppell’s bi-district game will be finalized in the coming days. The Cowboys will play either Allen or Prosper on March 25 or 26.
“Our goals moving forward are as always regional championship and state championship,” Balcom said. “While those are implied goals within our program our focus and emphasis is always the next game. We know that for us to advance through the playoffs it's imperative that we play our best game each time we step on the field and commit to out working our opponent.”