Pin on Pinterest

Guest contributor: David Harp

Coppell Middle School North

The Coppell Cowgirls opened the 2016 campaign and their quest for a Texas state championship on an unseasonably warm February Texas night. Their play on the field did nothing but heat up the evening even more.

Matched up against the Keller Lady Indians—sure to be one of the top Division 2 teams in the state—Coppell started the game with momentum, thanks to early draw domination by Syracuse commit Morgan Widner, who finished the game winning 14 out of 21 draws.

Coppell peppered the Keller goal with a flurry of shots in the first 10 minutes, but Keller goalie Katie Sylvester (committed to Gardner-Webb), withstood the barrage, turning back shot after shot to keep the game close, with Coppell leading only 2-0 after 10 minutes.

The Coppell defense stood tall though while the Cowgirls were finding their touch on the scoring end. The Indians were able to put together some lengthy possessions in Coppell’s zone but tenacious defense continued to turn them back, and on the occasions when Keller was ableto break through, senior Coppell goaltender, Berkeley Bonneau (committed to Arizona State), was up to the challenge, making an impressive 7 saves on 12 shots.

Bonneau has also become a big part of an effective Coppell clearing game, developing confidence with her stick skills with speed to match. This lead to 11 successful clears for Coppell with only 1 failed clear. Their defensive ride was equally impressive, forcing multiple turnover by Keller during their clear attempts, thanks in part to Coppell’s forwards, including seniors Charlotte Hayden, Melissa Len, Taylor Greaves and Morgan Widner, dialing up pressure all the way down the field to assist Coppell’s speedy midfielders in regaining possession.

For the night, the Cowgirls forced a lethal 10 failed clears while allowing only 8 successes. The speed of Coppell was evident throughout the evening, and they may very well have the fastest group of midfielders in all of North Texas (although Hockaday, McKinney and ESD may have something to say about that). Their goal scoring prowess was also on display, with a barrage of fast breaks that were offset by timely offensive set pieces. Senior midfielders Delaney Dendy (3 goals), Ashley Bartlett (2 goals), Arizona State commit Mia Harp (5 goals) and sophomore and Stanford commit, Courtney Anderson (1 goal) helped keep the scoreboard tilted in the Cowgirl’s direction throughout the game.

The game was a strong start to a long season. The Coppell girls will look to carry their momentum down to Houston this weekend. They’ll be playing 4 area Houston teams in games that are “friendlies” on the schedule, but will no less show how the Cowgirls stack up against teams from the south of the state at this early point in the season.

Game(s) next week:

2/23 Tuesday vs Frisco @ CMS North

Game notes:

- Coppell forced 18 turnovers, with 8 credited takeaways, including 3 by senior All-State

defenseman Kailey Rivera and 2 by All-American midfielder Mia Harp

- The Cowgirls dominated the ground war, winning 29 ground balls to Keller’s 15; Courtney Anderson and Harp were at the top of the list with 4 each, with Delaney Dendy, Morgan Widner and Melissa Len picking up 3 apiece

- The lone Coppell assist of the night was picked up on a beautiful fast-break, cross-goal circle pass from Charlotte Hayden to Widner