Highland Park is accustomed to facing the top teams in the state during the soccer playoffs. The Lady Scots just aren’t used to facing them this early.
The luck of the draw brings together HP and Sachse, the state’s top-ranked team, for a Class 6A Region II area round game at 6 p.m. Friday at Lake Highlands.
Both teams carry high expectations and plenty of momentum into the matchup. The Lady Scots (19-3-1) were the 6A state runner-up a year ago and have won four consecutive games by a combined margin of 28-0. The Lady Mustangs (21-0-1) are undefeated and have been recognized in national polls all season, despite missing a couple of top players with injuries.
HP easily dispatched Irving Nimitz 10-0 in its postseason opener last week — behind four goals from Sarah O’Neal — and Sachse beat Harker Heights by the same score.
So how did this happen? The Lady Scots were the runner-up in District 10-6A behind Mesquite Horn during the regular season, which earned them a spot opposite the District 9-6A champion in the second round.
At any rate, one team will make an uncharacteristic early exit from the playoffs, while the other should be battle-tested for the rounds ahead. The winner will take on either Lake Highlands or Waco Midway in the regional quarterfinals.
Incidentally, all four 10-6A playoff teams won in the bi-district round last week, including fourth-seeded Richardson Pearce, which eliminated previously undefeated W.T. White.