Friendswood girls win Region III soccer crown to advance to state

FRIENDSWOOD — For the past 19 years, the Friendswood girls and boys have been participating in high school soccer which is part of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) which governs all Texas high school sports programs.

Both teams have proven to be very successful, but the girls have experienced greater success during these years including a 2001 Class 4A state championship. The Lady Mustangs have won seven Region III championships and have advanced to the state tournament seven times (1999-2001; 2006-2009)

Friendswood has been flying under the radar among the teams in the Houston area until the playoffs and now the Lady Mustangs have risen to the top with a 2-0 win over College Station in the region finals sending them to the state soccer tournament for the eighth time in school history.

The Lady Mustangs opened up the post-season with a 9-0 win over Houston Davis, won a shootout over Stratford 4-2, knocked off district rival Texas City 3-1, and edged Ridge Point 2-1 before blanking College Station 2-0 to capture the regional crown.

Friendswood (22-4-3) will now face Wylie East (23-1-1) in the 4A state semifinals on Friday, April 18 at 11:00 a.m. at the Georgetown ISD Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, Texas.

A win by the Lady Mustangs will send them to the 4A state finals on Saturday, April 19 at 4:00 p.m. against the winner between Leander Vandegrift (17-3-2) or Byron Nelson Northwest (22-2-5) at the same location.

A single word to describe the Lady Mustangs this season would be persistence. With the state soccer tournament on the line and needing a win against College Station, Friendswood kept the pressure on both ends of the field.

It seemed College Station had the edge in the first half with a strong wind behind their back, but a stiff Friendswood defense prevented the Lady Cougars from taking advantage of any scoring opportunities.

The Lady Mustangs defense limited College Station to only three shots as three corner kicks failed to develop into any goals.

On the offensive side for Friendswood, junior forward Taylor Rue had a pair of good looks with one shot sailing over the goal and the other bouncing off the top goal post leaving both teams tied at 0-0 at intermission.

With 5:40 left in the contest, persistence finally paid off as sophomore midfielder Selina Vickery fired a perfect pass to a wide open junior midfielder Maret Moran who drove the ball into the net giving the Lady Mustangs a 1-0 lead.

Friendswood added one more goal for a little insurance as Zoe Cole drilled a 42-yard free kick over the hands of College Station goalie for a 2-0 cushion.

From there, the Lady Mustangs defense took over in the final minutes of the game to secure their place at the state soccer tournament.

Friendswood sophomore goalkeeper Klaryssa Heussmann certainly did her part in securing the shutout.