Two LISD girls soccer teams are headed to the state tournament.
Vandegrift advanced to state for the third time in four seasons while Rouse will be playing in its first-ever state tournament. The Lady Vipers face meet Katy Tompkins at noon on Friday and the Lady Raiders ace off with Aledo Thursday at noon at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.
“Playoff experience is very integral in the mentality of what it took us to get back to state,” Vandegrift head coach Jen Hardy said.
Vandegrift has been to three of the last four state tournaments and won a state championship in 2014. That season was also the furthest the Lady Raiders have advanced, as they made it to the regional final before losing to none other than the Lady Vipers.
In the regional tournament this year, Vandegrift beat McAllen 3-0 behind goals from Sarah Mahosky, Gabie Jones and Grace Andres. Afrah Khan and Holly Streber scored in the regional final win against Cibolo Steele on Saturday.
Katy Tompkins finished second in its district and has outscored opponents 20-4 in the playoffs. The Lady Falcons made it to the state tournament for the first time in school history with a 2-0 win against Katy Cinco Ranch in the regional final.
Even with the daunting task of moving up to Class 6A this season, Vandegrift has yet to show any signs of slowing down. Of the 10 seniors on the roster for the Lady Vipers, half of them have played in a state title game.
The story is much the same for Rouse. The Lady Raiders dominated the district and didn’t lose a game in district play. They scored 20 more goals than their closest district competition and allowed just 13 goals all year, including an 11-game shutout streak.
Rouse traveled to Humble for the regional tournament beating Nederland 1-0 in the regional quarterfinal.
For the first time in a while, Rouse was on the defensive in the first half, but the team made adjustments at halftime and Alivia Sparschu found Megan Olds with an inch perfect pass for the game-winning-goal midway through the second half.
“We made some shifts in our midfield and we saw some gaps,” Rouse head coach Katie Kistner said. “We just had to fix our shape so that we could pick up a few more balls in that area and not be so spread out. We were just trying to clean that up.”
Saturday was even more difficult. Facing a team that hadn’t lost in 16 games, the Lady Raiders needed overtime to outlast College Station 3-2. Haley Hoppe scored two goals, including the game-winner in the first overtime period.
Aledo has one of the most potent offenses in the state, boasting two forwards with at least 23 goals on the season. The Lady Bearcats have outscored opponents 20-2 in the playoffs and are making their first state tournament appearance.
The state final for both 5A and 6A is on Saturday at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown. The two 5A winners will meet at 11 a.m., while the 6A finalists will square off at 4 p.m.