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AUSTIN – Despite nearly two decades of playoff teams, Friday morning marked the first-ever regional tournament game for No. 8-ranked Memorial.
The District 15-6A champions made the most of the appearance, beating previously-unbeaten and state-ranked No. 1 The Woodlands 2-1 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in the Region II-6A semifinal.
"It’s a huge deal to us to be a part of the most successful season," Memorial forward Grace Collins said. "A lot of great girls have come through the program and we’re just excited to leave our legacy here."
For the Lady Highlanders (23-1-2), the loss cut their 10th trip to the regional tournament short. The Woodlands lost in double overtime to eventual state champion Pflugerville Hendrickson in last year’s regional final.
"It is what it is," coach Dina Graves said. "It’s unfortunate. I wanted them to play tomorrow and have the girls have that experience. We’ll move on and get ready for next year."
In the 30th minute, Mary Grace Sullivan played Collins into the box. Collins’ low-right shot found the back of the net and the Mustangs led 1-0.
Memorial doubled the lead early in the second half on a penalty kick from Kelsey Hranicky.
Shianne Knight’s long-distance goal from 40 yards out breathed life into the Lady Highlanders with nine minutes left, but Memorial held on the rest of the way.
Memorial looks for more history in the Region II-6A final against Round Rock at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Elsik boys find a way
Tompkins goalkeeper Arlen Oni had the nation’s top-ranked team in Elsik searching for answers but Jose Umana had one last say.
Umana’s goal with two minutes left in the second overtime helped Elsik past Tompkins, 2-1 in the Region III-6A boys soccer semifinal in Deer Park.
Layee Kromah rolled the ball to Umana for the assist off the free kick and Umana buried it.
A goal from Tompkins’ Bryce Robisch had the Falcons ahead 1-0 until Elsik’s Mayno Linares equaled in the 60th minute.
Otherwise, Oni’s five saves were a coup for Tompkins.
Elsik looks for its first trip to state since 2013.
Wisdom boys back in regional final
Houston ISD’s impressive run in boys soccer might continue.
Wisdom toppled A&M Consolidated in a 2-0 win in the Region III-5A semifinal. The Generals face Huntsville on Saturday. Wisdom’s 2014 run to state was memorable considering they were the first HISD boys team to make it that far.
Wheatley and Washington made up an all-HISD Region III-4A final last year. The Generals can add another banner for the state’s largest district Saturday.
Katy ISD girls flex muscle
Tompkins and Cinco Ranch will play in the Class 6A Region III title game for the second consecutive year and Katy ISD will have a team in the UIL state bracket for a seventh consecutive year.
The teams meet at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Abshire Stadium. It’ll be the third meeting between the two this season with Cinco Ranch winning one and a draw in the other game.
Cinco Ranch handled Clear Springs in a 3-1 regional semifinal win Friday with a goal from McKenzie Chew and a brace from Ali Russell. Maddie Salas scored Clear Springs’ lone goal.
Tompkins got a 76th-minute goal from Leanne Veary to top Kingwood in its semifinal.
The district’s recent dominance in the region is a source of pride for both teams.
"Definitely we want to have an all-Katy final," Tompkins coach Jarrett Shipman said. "It shows how tough our district is. I have the utmost respect for (Cinco Ranch coach Fredy Sanguinetti). He does everything the right way over there. We’re just excited it’s us and Cinco Ranch. That was one of our goals from the get-go."
Kingwood Park, Tomball girls set for III-5A final
It took penalty kicks but Tomball bested Port Neches-Groves 0-0 (4-1) in Friday’s Class 5A Region III semifinal at Turner Stadium.
On the other side is Kingwood Park, who has Allie Byrd and her hat trick to thank for a 4-3 win over Cedar Park.
Byrd scored Kingwood Park’s first, second and fourth goal in the win. Taylor Debrosky scored the third goal for Kingwood Park.
Kingwood Park and Tomball’s regional final is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Turner Stadium.