ROWLETT GIRLS SOCCER RAIGEN POWELL

Rowlett’s Raigen Powell is one of the top scorers in the state and has 38 goals this season to lead the Eagles.

Rowlett, Sachse and Wylie are all playoff-bound, but there is still a matter of playoff seeding to be settled in the final week of the regular season, with all three having a chance to earn a piece of the 10-6A championship.

The top trio each took care of business last Friday with solid victories.

The Eagles (11-1-0, 33 points) maintained its hold on first place with a 9-0 victory over Garland.

Taylor Conway, Zaida Henderson, Ana Castillo and Lexie Gilley each scored twice, with Ashley Johnson also tallying a goal.

The defense once again did the job with keeper Kennedy Stelling and defenders Maddie Mason, Johnson, Gilley, Gretchen Wolfe, Lisa Kadira and Brooklyn Meisner.

The Mustangs (10-2-0, 30) remained in a tie for second place after a 5-0 blanking of Lakeview, getting goals from Storm Harris, Chayse Thorn and Paige Baumgartner.

The Pirates (10-2-0, 30) bounced back from their loss against Rowlett, as Hayley Wolfe and Bryanne Izaguirre scored in a 2-0 win over Naaman Forest.

Though teams are not looking ahead, that sets up a potential battle for first place on Friday when the Eagles and Mustangs meet at Sachse High School.

Rowlett returns to action on Tuesday against a Lakeview team they beat 9-0 in the first meeting, while Sachse had similar results in its initial match with South Garland, posting a 6-1 win.

The Eagles won the first rivalry meeting 4-1 back on Feb. 18, when Raigen Powell scored twice and Rhagan Marshall and Conway added goals.

It has that kind of firepower that has given Rowlett the edge, at least so far this season.

Powell has been the catalyst for the offense. The junior, who is committed to Alabama, is among the state leaders with 38 goals to go along with 11 assists.

Conway is putting together another stellar campaign with 21 goals and 16 assists, giving the Eagles one of the best 1-2 scoring punches around.

The danger for opponents is if they focus too much on Powell and Conway, Rowlett can strike in other ways with Jenal Trevino (4 goals, 13 assists), Marshall (5 goals), Brooklyn Meisner (5 goals, 3 assists), Mason (5 goals, 2 assists), Ashley Johnson (4 goals, 3 assists) and others.

Stelling has been stout from her keeper position with 11 shutouts, getting plenty of help from defenders Johnson, Mason, Gilley, Wolfe, Kadira, Meisner and occasionally Powell.

The Eagles’ one blemish was a 5-2 loss to Wylie back on Feb. 7, but they have taken lessons from that night and it has shown in the 4-1 win over Sachse and the 3-1 victory against the Pirates in the rematch.

“It played a huge factor, the whole time since that last game, we’ve talked about nothing but being positive with one another, making sure we’re communicating, making sure we’re motivating each other on the field,” Rowlett head coach Jason Fegraeus said. “Scoring first only helped that knowing we’ve got this, we can do this, now we’ve just got to hold and keep putting that pressure on and we're going to put ourselves in position to win.”

The Mustangs have learned from their own bit of adversity. They were alone in first place after a 6-0 start before dropping back-to-back matches to their fellow contenders.

Some key players have stepped up of late, including Paige Baumgartner, Chayse Thorn, Storm Harris and Kaitlyn Valatis.

Sachse has won a share of the district championship in nine consecutive seasons and has a chance to extend that streak if it can get a repeat performance of last year’s district finale.

On that night, Harris and Valatis scored early goals and Thorn netted the game-winner with 6:26 left to lift them to a 3-2 victory over Rowlett and propel them past the Eagles for the 10-6A title.

One aspect not to be overlooked is that a Mustang regulation victory over Rowlett could create a three-way tie for first place if Wylie can take care of business in its final two matches against North Garland and South Garland, who they beat in the first round by a combined score of 6-0.

The Pirates have been one of the better offensive teams in the area with Evelyn Slaughter (16 goals) and Amelia Leggett (15 goals) and seeding will be important.

The battle for the fourth and final playoff berth is still up for grabs.

With Lakeview (5-6-1, 17) losing to Sachse last Friday, South Garland (6-5-1, 19) was hoping to open some distance, but North Garland got a regulation goal from Alexis Wooten and was able to prevail in a shootout, limiting the Colonels to just one point.

South Garland might have a two-point lead, but they also have the more difficult stretch with matches against Sachse and Wylie, against whom they lost 6-1 and 2-0, respectively.

Lakeview has a tough game against Rowlett on Tuesday in a rematch of a 9-0 loss, but closes with Naaman Forest. In that first meeting, the teams battled to a 1-1 tie before the Patriots picked up two valuable points in a shootout.

If it comes down to tiebreakers, the teams split the season series, with Lakeview winning the first match 2-0 and South Garland countering in the second with a 4-1 win.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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