Senior captains Ana Campa, Mary Cardone, and Kyra Falcone appeared to be overjoyed, yet in awe, as they hesitantly approached the UIL Region 4 championship trophy Saturday afternoon. The 1-0 win over O’Connor put the Lady Brahmas into the state semifinals for the fourth time in school history (‘05, ‘06, ‘08). Here’s how it happened.
10:38 AM: The team held a strong 1-0 lead over Del Rio, thanks to an early Kyra Falcone goal, with near 4 minutes left in the first half. That’s when senior Erin Moore collided with the Del Rio goalkeeper and was helped off of the field five minutes later with what appeared to be an injured collarbone. She did not return.
11:34 AM: The Brahma lead is still intact with about 7 minutes left as sophomore Bella Vontoussaint receives her second yellow card in the game which leads to her suspension for the Regional Final.
11:43 AM: The girls hold on and advance to the Region Final for the first time since 2011.
1:40 PM: O’Connor defeated Los Fresnos on the other side of the bracket, setting up an all San Antonio final to go to state.
7:30 PM: Erin Moore finds out that her collarbone is not fractured and she will play on saturday.
11:02 AM: Senior Joanne Rios starts the game in the midfield to fill in for Bella’s absence.
11:45 AM: The girls are tied with O’Connor at halftime, and appear to be in control despite the wind being against them in the first half.
12:07 PM: The momentum is clearly favoring the Brahmas, and Kyra Falcone capitalizes with one of the goals of the season. She used her speed to dribble around two OC defenders and fired a shot from the corner of the penalty box with her left foot, and curved it in past the diving keeper to put Mac up 1-0 with 28 minutes remaining.
12:37 PM: O’Connor hits the crossbar and follows up with another shot that is saved by a diving Mary Cardone with just two minutes left.
12:39 PM: The team advances to the State semifinals with a 1-0 win over O’Connor.
Now, after all of the drama and driving that everybody has ensued, it’s time to focus on state. The girls will play Dallas Highland Park, a team with a daunting resumé. Highlands Park boasts a 23-2-2 (W-L-T) record and a second round win against Sachse, the previously top ranked team in the country, in the USA Today rankings.
The Lady Brahmas have outscored their five playoff opponents by a score of 7-1 thus far. This team is very well rounded with talented players at every position, however, their ability to play their roles to perfection separates them from other teams that have nearly the same level of talent as them, as Erin Moore explains.
“We’ve each found our rhythm with time with what we do well, and when we all execute our roles the way we know how, we’re successful,” Moore says. “Stolhandske doesn’t expect Mikayla [a defender] to support attacks, he expects her to play her role to the best of her ability and that’s why we’re playing so well right now.”
The example that she uses of senior defender Mikayla Wallace can be said about everybody on the team. Nobody appears to be uncomfortable during the course of the game, everybody has a plan and their experience allows them all to be on the same page.
The girls soccer team will now play at Birkelbach Field, at Georgetown HS, in the city of Georgetown at 9:30 a.m. Friday, for the chance to go to the first state championship in the history of MacArthur soccer.