Rouse, Vandegrift girls soccer teams eliminated in semifinals

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Vandegrift’s Grace Erdman needed to be helped up by coaches to avoid collapsing into a pile of tears. Rouse’s Megan Olds embraced teammates after returning to the field following an injury.

The sidelines at the state soccer tournament last weekend at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown was a sea of emotions as both the Lady Raiders and Lady Vipers both fell in the state semifinals. Rouse lost 3-2 in overtime to Aledo on Thursday afternoon, while Vandegrift fell 3-1 against Katy Tompkins on Friday.

“It just speaks to the support we get from LISD administration and campus administration,” LISD athletic director Jody Hormann said. “We’re able to hire great coaching staffs because LISD is a destination district. It comes down to the athletes and the community support that they get at all of our campuses. It is pretty amazing.”

Vandegrift was in the state tournament for the third time in four seasons, while Rouse made it past the regional tournament to the state tournament for the first time in school history. 

LISD has been represented at the state girls soccer tournament every year since 2009. 

Rouse junior goalkeeper Celise Phillips and sophomore defender Sydney Sheehan were named to the 5A All-Tournament team. Junior forward Afrah Kahn and senior defender Kelly Flynn represented Vandegrift on the All-Tournament list. 

“Having two teams at the state tournament shows that we’re willing to get out here and push,” Vandegrift head coach Jenifer Hardy said. “We’ve got a great area and great schools with great coaches and great kids.”

Rouse and Cedar Park, which finished second in District 19-5A, had most of the superlatives in the All-District awards. Rouse coach Katie Kistner was Coach of the Year, Phillips was Goalkeeper MVP and Haley Hoppe, who scored 35 goals with five assists was district MVP. 

Cedar Park senior Allison Stallings was named Defensive MVP and junior Jewell Resseguie was the offensive MVP.

The Lady Raiders had Rika Kocek, Abby Schraeder, Sydney Sheehan and Charlotte Wilson on the first team and Delaney Carrell, Julia Loza, Megan Olds, and Alivia Sparschu on the second team.

The Lady Timberwolves saw Emma Dooher, Erika Longford, and Riley Petcosky on the All-District first team and Ellie Carr, Ainsley Forbes, and Saige Serigny named to the second team list.

The District 25-6A All-District selections were not made available online.

In the state semifinal matchups, both Rouse and Vandegrift struggled to gain possession early and are forced to come from behind.

Aledo jumped on Rouse first, 15 minutes in. But Rouse even the score before halftime on a perfect free kick from Abby Schraeder 10 minutes later. Abby Forster gave Rouse the lead midway through the seance half, but the Lady Bearcats scored less than a minute later on a corner kick. 

It was Aledo that scored directly from a free kick, netting a goal with three minutes left in the second extra time period to clinch the win.

“It was a ride of emotions,” Kistner said. “I couldn’t be more proud of my team. They worked really hard to get here and I couldn’t have asked for a better season. I’m really proud of our seniors and we left it all out there and you can’t ask for more than that.”

Tompkins scored off a header 15 minutes into the game. Vandegrift lost Erdman, who led the team with 13 goals and was second on the team with seven assists, to a severely injured hamstring less than a minute later. 

Paige Crossman tallied late in the second half to tie the game on a rebound. But soon after, Tompkins caught a break when a Vandegrift defender headed the ball into her own net. The Lady Bearcats scored with five minutes left to put the game away. 

“She did exactly what she should’ve done, she got up in the air and got a head to the ball,” Hardy said. “She does that every game and this time it spun the wrong way. She was out there defending the goal and doing everything she could to keep the ball out of the back of the net.”

Both teams will get their due recognition as the school board will honor them at a meeting sometime in the future. The time and date are yet to be determined.

Hormann was named athletic director in February and has had a busy first few months on the job. She pointed out that while most of the school in LISD are relatively young, Rouse and Vandegrift are two of the newest and this runs shows the kind of foundation that as laid when they opened.

“It’s been fun,” she said. “We say when you’re busy this time of year, it’s a good busy because your teams are extending their seasons. It’s an exciting time when any team is in the playoffs, but to have two in the state tournament is rare and the accomplishment isn’t taken lightly.”

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