For the second straight spring, Cedar Park’s soccer season ended on Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.
Freshman Savanna Jones helped turn two corner kicks into goals in Highland Park’s 2-1 victory over Cedar Park. The loss in the Class 4A girls state semifinal came a year after Cedar Park was beaten by Northwest Nelson 1-0 in the same round.
“It’s definitely a somber mood,” Cedar Park senior Lexi Brown said. “You just want someone to come up and hug you and tell you it’s going to be OK, but it’s hard.”
Highland Park, which won the Class 4A girls state title in 2012, opened the game on the offensive against Cedar Park sophomore goalkeeper Alanis Guevara. The Scots (25-0-5) peppered the purple jersey-wearing Guevara with five shots over the first half of the match’s opening half.
And with 18:57 left in the first half, Highland Park found the net.
Seconds after a corner kick failed to put Highland Park on the scoreboard, the Scots sent Jones back to attempt a corner from the same spot. Jones lofted the ball across the field, and Highland Park junior Diana Kay Manley, who was on the back side of the goal, beat Guevara with a header.
Sixty-four seconds into the second half, Jones found herself on the receiving end of Sara Summers’ kick from the corner. Jones’ header gave Highland Park a 2-0 lead.
“We did (practice corner kicks) before this game because we knew that, hopefully, we would get a lot of corner kicks,” Jones said. “We practice them over and over again, and we have plays and so they finally went in. It was awesome.”
The two-goal deficit put Cedar Park in a tough spot. Highland Park had shut out its previous five opponents, and the Scots had not allowed more than two goals in any of the 60 previous games they had played during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
“We’re a team that prides ourselves on the second half, which isn’t always the best thing,” Brown said. “That was such a smack in the face. It’s like when your best friend comes up and they’re like, ‘What are you doing?’ and they just slap you across the face.
“It was definitely a wake-up call that we shouldn’t have (needed).”
Cedar Park scored with 1:13 to go, when Kayci Griffin turned a corner kick from Brown into a goal. The Lady Timberwolves (22-4-2) scrambled for a game-tying score, but Sophie Sanchez’s desperate kick in the waning seconds missed.
“They never gave up. Those kids played until the last second, and they believed until the last second,” Cedar Park coach Jennifer Womack said. “It was enough time, but it just didn’t go.”
Highland Park, which extended its unbeaten streak to 49 games, will play Denton Guyer on Saturday for the Class 4A championship. The Scots will be looking for their sixth state championship. Denton Guyer (27-1) has never won a title.
UIL SOCCER STATE TOURNAMENT
Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex
Tickets: $5 daily for students, $10 daily for adults; $25 for all-tournament pass.
Class 4A semifinals
Denton Guyer 4, Magnolia 2
Highland Park 2, Cedar Park 1
El Paso Del Valle 1, Pharr Valley View 0
6 p.m. — Waco University (31-0) vs. Mesquite Poteet (23-1-2)
Class 5A semifinals
11 a.m. — Plano West (26-0-2) vs. Katy Taylor (23-3-2)
1 p.m. — Southlake Carroll (29-2) vs. San Antonio Johnson (21-4-3)
4 p.m. — Coppell (21-2) vs. Humble Kingwood (23-1-4)
6 p.m. — Brownsville Hanna (25-1-3) vs. Alief Elsik (21-2-3)
11 a.m. — Class 4A girls final: Denton Guyer (27-1) vs. Highland Park (25-0-5)
1 p.m. — Class 4A boys final: El Paso Del Valle (24-6) vs.
4 p.m. — Class 5A girls final
6 p.m. — Class 5A boys final