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Thursday April 21, 2016

Coppell 18, Flower Mound 4

Guest Contributor:  David Harp


Cowgirls Lasso Up Pressure, Ride Past Flower Mound.

In any sport, each and every game of the playoffs brings increasing pressure. On a beautiful Texas night at Coppell Middle School North, any pressure the Coppell Cowgirls felt seemed to have been transferred onto the field in the form of their most stifling defensive effort of the year.

Facing the Flower Mound Force for the third time this season, the Cowgirls were challenged with beating an opponent that was very familiar with them. While Coppell enjoyed a first round bye, Flower Mound dispatched Ursuline Academy by a score of 16-10.

After that convincing win, Flower Mound entered the game against Coppell with one thing on their mind: A district-shaking upset. And after winning the opening draw and connecting several passes leading to the opening goal, it looked like they would indeed be a Force to be reckoned with. However, Coppell quickly put a stop to the Flower Mound momentum and began executing in ways Flower Mound simply had no answer for.

Sr. attacker and Syracuse commit, Morgan Widner, began her familiar domination in the draw circle, winning 14 of 20 draws, leading to Coppell possession after possession. She continued that domination in the offensive zone as well, as she used speed, power and finishing ability to elude defenders and net 5 first-half goals, on her way to a 6-goal game.

The Coppell offensive assault also showed plenty of balance. Sr. midfielders, Elizabeth Sapp, and Arizona State commit, Mia Harp, each collected 3 goals on the night. Jr. attacker, Abbi Waters, also pitched in with a strong 2 goal effort. Setting up 6 of these goals and scoring 2 of her own was sr. attacker, Charlotte Hayden. Sr. defender, Kailey Rivera, and sr. attacker, Melissa Len, rounded out the goal production.

And as impressive as the 18 goal performance by the Cowgirl’s offense was, it was their defense that stole the show. Sr. defender, Kailey Rivera, showed once again why she was selected as a 2015 High School All-American, leading the way with 6 takeaways, 6 ground balls and 4 draw controls. Most of her takeaways occurred during the defensive ride. This pressure during Flower Mound’s clearing attempts never let up, and often times overwhelmed the Force in their defensive zone.

For the game, Flower Mound was forced into 14 failed clears, while managing 8 clear successes. Coppell’s attacking and midfield players turned into relentless defenders on every change of possession, continuously forcing Flower Mound into double and triple teams on the ball. For the game, Coppell finished with an imposing 13 takeaways and forced 20 Flower Mound turnovers.

In net, sr. Arizona State commit, Berkeley Bonneau, had another stellar outing, stopping 10 of 14 shots, while making precision clearing passes throughout the game. In the opposite net, sr. goaltender, Emily Crump, was equally impressive, turning back 16 of 34 shots.

After cruising to their quarter-final win, the Cowgirls will next play an upstart McKinney squad with lots of firepower and plenty of confidence. However, if the Cowgirls are once again able to turn playoff pressure into relentless defense like they did Thursday night, their prospect for playoff success bodes well. 


North District Division 1 Playoff Schedule

All games at Coppell Middle School North


Saturday 4/23- Semi-Finals

9:30am           1 ESD vs 4 Hockaday

11:30am         2 Coppell vs 3 McKinney


Sunday 4/24 – Championship Game

3:30                 Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2

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