The Coppell girls soccer team gave top-ranked Prosper all that it could handle.
Despite not having senior left back Addison Martin available after she sustained a lower-body injury in Coppell’s final game of the regular season against Plano East, the Cowgirls put forth a tremendous defensive performance against a Prosper team that scored 127 goals in 22 regular-season games.
For as hard as Coppell fought, the Cowgirls were unable to get the ball past Eagle sophomore goal keeper Jordyn Gunnarson in a 2-0 loss in a Class 6A bi-district championship, held March 26 at McKinney ISD Stadium.
With Martin out of the lineup, Coppell head coach Becca Sawers moved senior Memphis signee Jocelyn Alonzo from midfielder to left back. Sawers also praised the defensive effort of sophomore Tatum Escobar, who denied Prosper the opportunity to cross the ball.
Center backs Chloe Phan, a senior, and Claire Yaney, a junior, made several key tackles to deny the Lady Eagles from shooting the ball on net.
Coppell senior keeper Zoe Goodale also earned praise from Sawers, who said that Goodale made nine saves and set the tone early by going one-on-one with a Prosper forward, sliding on top of the ball before the Lady Eagle players could shoot.
“Our defensive effort was incredible,” Sawers said. “Our backline did a great job of shutting down the way Prosper normally attacks and forced them to adjust. We didn't allow any corner kicks, which is a testament to our defensive effort.”
Offensively, the Cowgirls created a couple of scoring opportunities, but just couldn’t get the ball past Foley.
Most of Coppell’s opportunities came by attacking on the wing and finding an open player in front of the net.
Reneta Vargas, a UT-Rio Grande Valley commit who was playing in her first playoff game with the Cowgirls, passed the ball from midfield to Alonzo, who dribbled to beat a defender, turned inside and took a shot with her left foot.
Another opportunity came from a throw-in to Rice commit Bailey Peek. She beat two Prosper midfielders then passed the ball to sophomore Saiya Patel, who passed the ball to senior Ellie Stewart. Stewart took the shot at the top of the box, but the ball hit the crossbar.
Prosper took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kaitlyn Giametta, and the Lady Eagles led by that same score at halftime.
Giametta scored again in the second half to make it 2-0 Prosper.
In a season in which Coppell underwent a change at head coach, had to step away from the pitch for the first two weeks of district play due to COVID-19 concerns within its program and had to play 11 games in three weeks, the Cowgirls still finished with an overall record of 14-5-4 and clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season.
“There is no such thing as an easy game in our district and making playoffs is something to be proud of,” Sawers said. “The season ended earlier than we hoped, but considering the adversity this team faced, I am proud of how hard the team worked and the way we finished in our last match against Prosper.”