GEORGETOWN--The Wakeland girls did a lot of the things necessary to win a state championship on Friday against Dripping Springs.
The Wolverines controlled possession for a majority of the match. They held the advantage in shots, shots on goal and corner kicks.
But unfortunately for Wakeland, sometimes those numbers do not add up to what shows on the scoreboard.
The opportunistic Tigers scored on their only two official shots on goal of the match, and the defense lived up to its billing to help them claim a 2-1 victory over the Wolverines in the Class 5A state championship game at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.
Dripping Springs, who wins its first title in its third state tournament appearance, ends the season with a 27-1-1 record, including a 27-match unbeaten streak. Wakeland, who was hoping to add a third state championship trophy to ones claimed in 2011 and 2018, settles for the runner-up and a 20-3-3 mark.
The first several minutes of the second half encapsulated the entire match.
Tied at 1-1, the Wolverines had a good chance when Ally Perry set up McKenna Jenkins in the box, but the shot was saved by Dripping Springs keeper Caroline Dill.
A short time later, Wakeland’s Kayden Amador let loose an 18-yard blast that went just wide.
And then like that, the Tigers were on the counterattack, with Sofia Picucci making a long run and then sliding a pass over to Taylor Hodsden and the freshman did the rest, pulling the ball to her left foot and then hitting her shot just inside the near post to take a 2-1 lead with 33:58 left.
The rest of the match followed a similar theme, with the Wolverines garnering a majority of the chances, but at the same time always having to be weary of the Dripping Springs counter attack.
Wakeland had several chances inside the Tigers’ box that were blocked by defenders, and the ones that got through, were turned away by Dill, who made five saves and was voted as the game’s most valuable player.
The combination of Perry and Jenkins continued to create opportunities, and Katy Gregson and Faith Bell also had chances, but the Wolverines were unable to net the equalizer.
Dripping Springs had entered the match having not allowed a goal in the playoffs, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 17-0 in the six-game stretch.
But it was apparent early on that this would be the biggest threat to that streak.
A couple early corner kicks gave Wakeland good looks that went just wide and a goal from Bella James was nullified by a close offside call.
The Wolverines finally broke through in the 32nd minute, when Perry made a nice run through the middle of the field and slid a pass to Jenkins, who knocked her left-footer past the keeper and into the net to take a 1-0 lead.
Dripping Springs had not managed a shot up until that point, but applied some pressure of its own late and it paid off when Riley Sisson drilled a 20-yard left-footed blast into the top corner of the net to tie it at 1-1 with just 1:05 left before the break.
The second half would see each team with its share of chances, but it was the Tigers who were able to cash in the one that gave them their first state championship.