PLANO — On a night plagued with spring storms and lengthy delays, the Prosper High School Lady Eagles played their last game of the season on Friday, April 6, dropping a heartbreaker to Frisco Wakeland in the Regional Quarterfinals.
“It’s a tough feeling,” head coach Rafael Flores said following the loss. “The girls played hard, and I’m extremely proud of them.”
The battle for a Regional Tournament berth got off to a rough start, however, due to the ever-changing Texas spring weather. The game, which was originally slated for a 7 p.m. start time, was moved to 6 p.m. in the hopes of avoiding most of the stormy conditions.
But with a tornado warning looming, the game outlook didn’t look promising. Both teams were restricted to their respective locker rooms to wait out the barrage of precipitation.
Finally, after two hours of rain, hail and heavy winds, the teams took the field around 8:30 p.m.
The mounting tensions from the extended delay had both teams ready to put the game behind them, but the ominous weather would foreshadow the eventual fate of the Lady Eagles.
Nonetheless, Prosper was ready to compete.
It was clear from the opening whistle that the game would be one of the toughest of the year for the Lady Eagles. While Wakeland had the first dangerous attacking opportunity of the night, Prosper worked up their attack and responded with a volley off the bounce courtesy of senior Kat Rogers. The left-footed strike, however, skimmed just wide.
Adding to the offense was freshman Kaitlyn Giametta. The forward returned to the lineup after missing a few games and quickly made her presence known to the Lady Wolverine back line, registering two shots on frame that threatened to take the lead.
Fueled by Wakeland’s star forward Grace Brian, the Lady Wolverines offense didn’t stay quiet for long. Battling with the wind, the opponents managed to get a few dangerous chances on goal, but junior goalkeeper Sydney Crowe held strong throughout the first.
Although both teams found their equal share of chances to pull ahead, they’d have to settle for a pair of goose eggs heading into the break.
The halftime switch was just what the Lady Wolverines needed to put Prosper away.
Despite a quick offensive start by the home team, Wakeland’s Gracie Brian capitalized on a counterattack and blasted a shot past Crowe for the lead. Seven minutes later, Avery Amador put the game-winning dagger in after some very clean combination play around the Prosper defense. Again, Crowe’s valiant effort came just short of the save.
“In the second half, I thought we started really strong,” Flores said. “We were ready, [the girls] played hard, and we were generating offense and putting some dangerous balls in there… [Wakeland] just had two great finishes.”
Following the two-goal stint, the Lady Eagles cranked up the pressure, with lots of time left on the clock to still make it a game. Attempt after attempt fell flat in the final third, however, denying Prosper every hard-earned opportunity they could muster.
Against their best efforts and one of the most hard-fought battles of the season, the ticking clock remained a constant reminder of the team’s dwindling chance of pulling off the comeback.
In the end, Wakeland’s two goals would seal the game.
“They left it all out there and they played hard,” Flores said. “I thought we generated a lot of offense, but that finishing ball we weren’t able to find.”
Now that the season is in the books, Flores and his staff will go back to drawing board and begin rebuilding for future seasons. He’ll do so, however without some key players.
“Cameron, Maycie, Kristin, PJ and Kat are five unbelievable kids. They’re better off the field than they are on, and they’re pretty dang good soccer players. I wish for them we would of done it,” he said.
Of the five seniors, three (Kat Rogers, Maycie McDougal and Peyton Jefferson) will move on to play at the collegiate level. As they head their separate ways, Flores said they will definitely be missed by all.
“These five seniors that will be graduating have left a lot of tools for the kids who will be returning,” Flores said. “It was telling on Senior Night when they weren’t crying but they other girls were in tears.”
The 2018 team finished with a final record of 24-2-1, just one loss more than last season in the same number of games. They retained the District 14-5A Championship, claiming the title in a historic 14-win season.
And while the premature end stings the hearts of so many, they have so much to be proud of.
“Every year I’ve been blessed with amazing kids,” said Flores. “They built [the program], and I’ve just been along for the ride.”