The Dallas Morning News

Class 5A: Dripping Springs kept Frisco Wakeland from winning a third consecutiv­e state title.

Loss is first in title game for program that’s won 2 crowns

- By JOSEPH HOYT Staff Writer Twitter: @Joejhoyt

GEORGETOWN — The Frisco Wakeland girls soccer team accomplish­ed something Friday that Dripping Springs’ six previous playoff opponents couldn’t: The Wolverines scored a goal.

That statistic, however, will have to serve as a championsh­ip game consolatio­n prize compared with what could’ve been.

Dripping Springs scored two unanswered goals to beat Wakeland 2-1 in the 5A girls state title game Friday afternoon at Georgetown’s Birkelbach Field.

Wakeland struck first on a goal from junior Mckenna Jenkins in the 32nd minute but couldn’t find the back of the net again. The Wolverines had 13 total shots and four corner kicks in the match. They also had one shot that went past Dripping Springs keeper Caroline Dill and just outside the post, as well as a goal that was negated by a offsides call.

“Soccer is a cruel game,” Wakeland head coach Jimmie Lankford said. “Sometimes it’s not meant to be. I feel like they battled and played as hard as they could.”

Friday’s state championsh­ip loss was the first state tournament loss in the history of the Wakeland girls soccer program. The Wolverines had won state titles in their previous two state championsh­ip appearance­s, including 2018 when both the boys and girls teams won state titles.

Dripping Springs was also making its third appearance in the state tournament, but this time it left Georgetown with its first state championsh­ip.

Dill, a sophomore who

played a part in 25 shutouts this season, recorded five saves and was named the game’s most valuable player.

Despite Dill’s pedigree, Wakeland opened the game putting a lot of pressure on the sophomore goalkeeper. The Wolverines had seven shots in the first half, many of which came from close range. The first chance Wakeland had at scoring came nine minutes in when a shot from senior Ally Perry went over the aggressive close out from Dill and just outside the left post.

That shot, and the aggressive­ness showed by Dill, played out once again in the 32nd minute, only this time it had a different ending. Perry — a Mississipp­i State signee — had a through ball that found junior Mckenna Jenkins in stride and beyond the Dripping Springs defense. Dill came out of net and charged at Jenkins, but left enough room for Jenkins to shoot past her and into the back of the net for the game’s first goal.

“Every time I get scored on it’s personal,” Dill said. “That’s on me. I think [Jenkins] had an amazing shot, but I should’ve had that.”

Dill said she was determined to not give up another goal. She and the Dripping Springs (27-1-1) defense held up their side of the bargain, but that wouldn’t be enough for a win. The offense for Dripping Springs had to step up against an equally stout defense.

Seven minutes later, the Dripping Springs offense did just that.

In the 39th minute, sophomore Riley Sisson fired a shot into the top left corner of the net to tie the score just before halftime.

Then, seven minutes into the second half, freshman Taylor Hodsden scored through the legs of Wakeland junior Drew Stover, a Wisconsin pledge who had allowed five goals all season entering Friday’s state title game.

 ?? Thao Nguyen/special Contributo­r ?? Frisco Wakeland’s Mckenna Jenkins (22) moves the ball past Dripping Springs’ Laney Kalsu in the 5A title game.
Thao Nguyen/special Contributo­r Frisco Wakeland’s Mckenna Jenkins (22) moves the ball past Dripping Springs’ Laney Kalsu in the 5A title game.

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