Rouse girls soccer clinches district title

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Katie Kistner has seen successful teams get overconfident after massive winning streaks in the past. But one thing she is most proud of with this year’s Rouse girls soccer team is ability to stay focused. 

The Lady Raiders locked up a district title with a 2-0 win against Elgin Friday night and finished the regular season with an 11-0 win against Bastrop Monday night, capping a season in which they went 20 games without a defeat. 

“I’m really impressed with their grit,” Kistner said. “I’ve played more of a physiologist than a coach this season sometimes because it’s more about keeping them focused. They’re talented and I’m blessed to have this team. They want to play for each other.”

Haley Hoppe, who will play college soccer at Northern Illinois next season, leads the team with 27 goals and five assists, while sophomore Alivia Sparschu has nine goals and two assists and Charlotte Wilson chipped in with eight goals and a team-best eight assists in the regular season.

Rouse ended the season on a hot streak, outscoring its final six opponents 23-0. Hoppe scored10 goals in the final five games, including a four-goal performance in the regular season finale Monday night. 

The Lady Raiders scored 60 goals during the regular season and gave up just six goals. Their district rivals Cedar Park had a slightly better defense as the Lady Timberwolves allowed just four goals in 14 games this year.

Even after Rouse beat playoff-bound Georgetown 2-0 for the second time last Tuesday, Kistner still wouldn’t let up the pressure. They are district champions now, but it shows the Lady raiders are determined to stay focused. 

“I’m just wanting a little cushion,” she said after beating the Eagles. “If it came down to goal differential, we wanted to make sure we’re in a good place.”

Cedar Park also locked up a playoff spot in the District 19-5A after a second place finish. Their  only losses of the regular season came from Rouse and Austin High, both district champions. 

Vandegrift is the only other local team joining them in the playoffs after the Lady Vipers won the district title for the third straight year and first in class 6A. Leander didn’t win a district game all season, while Vista Ridge dropped its final four games to fall out of the postseason positions. 

The playoffs begin with the bi-district round on March 23-25.

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