CARROLLTON — Frisco Wakeland came dangerously close to finding the net in the closing minutes Friday evening, but a save from junior defender Diana Kay Manley preserved a 1-0 victory for the Lady Scots.
In the 38th minute, a Wakeland player sped toward the Highland Park goal, so senior keeper Sarah Howley rushed out to challenge her. The ball got past Howley and was bound for the back of the net, but Manley stuck her foot out just in time to deflect it.
“I thought she was going to kick it harder, but luckily she didn’t,” Manley said.
The 1-0 win at Standridge Stadium was a change of pace for Highland Park (21-0-5), which recorded 10-1 and 3-0 victories over Paris North Lamar and Frisco, respectively, in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“I definitely have a lot of respect for this team,” Manley said of Wakeland’s Lady Wolverines (23-3-2). “We have very similar playing styles, but they came in a lot more aggressively than we expected. So we had to deal with that defensively and pull our midfielders back, but I thought we dealt with it well.”
Katie Martin got frustrated by one particular Lady Wolverine’s aggressiveness. The Highland Park senior midfielder had an unladylike slip of the tongue in the first half, which led to a yellow card and eight minutes on the bench.
“But [the referee] called her foul for the rest of the game,” Martin said, “so it was a win-win.”
Given that the game was sometimes ugly, it was appropriate that the only goal was “wasn’t very pretty,” according to Martin, who scored it. In the opening minutes of the second half, the Lady Scots had a throw-in from the sunset side of the field.
“The sun was really bright, so it was kind of a glare,” Martin said. “So she threw it in and it bounced over the defender, and there was some scuffling in there, and then it just popped out, and I just shot it.”
Highland Park will take on Lovejoy in the regional quarterfinals on either Monday or Tuesday.