Frenship ends breakthrough season with 3-1 loss to Southlake Carroll

Frenship's Allison Scott heads the ball during the Region I-6A semifinal game against Southlake Carroll Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

Frenship’s Allison Scott heads the ball during the Region I-6A semifinal game against Southlake Carroll Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

MIDLAND — In its fifth year of varsity play, the Frenship girls soccer team has seen its fair share of success come in small bunches.

Allison Scott has been part of a majority of that record-breaking time and was close to adding her name into Tigers’ soccer lore Friday afternoon in a Region I-6A semifinal match against Southlake Carroll.

The senior struck a ball from about 20 yards that spun off the gloves of Lady Dragons goalkeeper Madison Martin to give Frenship a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute and stayed true until halftime.

But Southlake Carroll, who was the No. 4-ranked team in the state by, rallied in the final 40 minutes by netting three goals to earn the 3-1 victory inside Grande Communications Stadium.

“We were so happy that we started off strong defensively, and got the first goal,” said Scott, who signed to play with Lubbock Christian University. “I’m just happy to see that my team came out and played well. … I’m just so proud of my team.”

With the loss, the Tigers end their season with an overall record of 22-3 — a year after reaching the Region I-6A quarterfinals. Frenship also capped off a breakthrough season in which it shut out 20 opponents and allowed eight total goals — three coming against the Lady Dragons.

“Honestly, in that first half, I thought we had a few good chances to score,” Frenship head coach Gery Joy said. “I felt like it was one of those matches, where if you get that second goal you may put enough pressure on your opponent to win. … We didn’t get that second goal but had some really good chances, especially off a corner in the first half.”

In the first half, the Tigers earned two corner kicks — including one in the 11th minute that was almost a goal — before going into the break with a lead. Throughout the first 40 minutes, Frenship proved to be the aggressor on offense and played physical on the defensive side, which frustrated a few Southlake Carroll players.

Frenship's Aryal Garcia traps to ball during the Region I-6A semifinal game Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

Frenship’s Aryal Garcia traps to ball during the Region I-6A semifinal game Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

“They’re an excellent team, there’s no doubt about it. I don’t think people give them enough credit,” Southlake Carroll head coach Matt Colvin said. “They’re well-coached, play their system very well, are well-organized and their goalkeeper and center backs are excellent players. … We didn’t take them lightly.”

Colvin said he spoke to his squad about taking better care of the ball and making more direct passes in the middle of the field to open up running lanes on the left and right side of the field.

Little did the Lady Dragons coach know, the wind would play a factor in scoring the equalizer.

Neaka Khalilian, a senior midfielder, watched as a ball floated above the head of a Frenship defender and used several touches to set up a 25-yard strike that got past Tigers goalkeeper Alexis Johnson to even things up at 1-1 in the 48th minute.

“That’s part of the game and we took advantage of it,” Colvin said. “Unfortunately, it’s part of the game. It was fortunate for us.”

Southlake Carroll broke the match open with two more goals — a Taylor Tufts corner kick headed into the net by Allisyn Gardner and a Khalilian goal in the middle of the box set up by an assist from Sydney Nobles — on the way to setting up a regional final matchup with Keller at noon Saturday.

“The first 10 or so minutes we felt good about the way we were playing,” Joy said of the second half. “But that first goal for them was the difference because it gave them a little bit of momentum. … We matched up fine with them.

“On paper, they should one of the best teams in the country. But all you look for is an opportunity. In (Class) 6A, you need to beat a team like that if you want to have a chance at state.”

While many of the Frenship players were heartbroken following the loss, Joy kept things in perspective noting that a majority of the squad returns for 2018.
The Tigers graduate six seniors but return 17 players with valuable playing experience — including Chloe Woodard, Natalie Jones and Jackson. Woodard and Jones are sophomores, while Jackson is a freshman.

“We’re going to build off of it, for sure,” Joy said. “Each year when you go a round deeper you want to learn from that experience and continue that upward trend. … We feel like we built the expectations to qualify for the playoffs and win some games there.”


n Frenship 1,

EP Franklin 0, 2OT
ODESSA — Natalie Jones scored an unassisted goal in the 96th minute to propel Frenship to a 1-0 double-overtime victory over El Paso Franklin in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal match April 4 at Ratliff Stadium.
“They’re a really good team and really good on defense. Honestly, they outplayed us in the first half,” said Frenship head coach Gery Joy, whose squad has reached its first regional tournament in program history. “But we started to play better in the second half and two overtimes. We started to get scoring chances and made good on the one in the second overtime.”

Frenship, which scored nine total goals in the past two playoff matches, battled with a pesky El Paso Franklin squad for 90-plus minutes before finding a golden scoring opportunity in the second overtime.

Jones, a sophomore, broke free from a Cougars defender down the middle of the field and struck a ball 25 yards past the glove of the Franklin goalkeeper with about 4:40 left in regulation.

“We got some good looks in the second overtime and Natalie was able to hit the back of the net one of them,” Joy said. “Franklin has good team and played really well today.”

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