Bears Blank Friars to Earn TAPPS Title

By Mike Waters / Contributor

ROUND ROCK — The Ursuline soccer dynasty reached a new milestone on Wednesday, rolling past rival Bishop Lynch to claim the 30th TAPPS state championship in program history.

Audrey Bryant scored a hat trick during a 4-0 victory for the Bears, who earned their second consecutive 6A title and finished the season on a 22-game winning streak.

“Unbelievable,” said Ursuline head coach Darrin Hedges, who was describing both the team’s accomplishment and star player Bryant’s outstanding performance.

Ursuline last year scored all five of its goals in the second half — two by Bryant — in a 5-1 title victory over district opponent Plano John Paul II.

This time, the Bears (24-1-0) made a statement early, with sophomore Makenzie Majors scoring off a corner kick from Erin O’Sullivan less than five minutes into the match.

“We wanted to set the tone,” Hedges said. “That first goal is so critical, and we wanted to grab the lead.”

Then Bryant, a Texas pledge, took over the match. She hammered in a cross-angled goal midway through the first half, then added another score — with an assist from Majors — to give Ursuline a 3-0 cushion at intermission.

“She is such a great player,” Hedges said of Bryant. “A tremendous talent. Just an exceptional player.”

With 11:13 left in the second half, Bryant notched her third goal, an angled roller from the left side.  That score gave Bryant a school record-tying 103 career goals, and 57th this season.

“I am looking forward to next season with one more year to play,” said Bryant, who was quick to credit her teammates. “Great feeling and team effort.”

Quetzabel Garza posted another shutout in goal — her third in the playoffs. Senior defender Kate Askew also was a key contributor.

“Kate has been phenomenal for us,” Hedges said. “She has done everything we have asked her to do.  We have moved her all over the field this year, from attacker to defender.”

Ursuline allowed just one goal in four playoff wins. An 11-0 rout of Tomball Concordia was followed by a 5-0 shutout of Fort Worth Nolan in the quarterfinals. The Bears earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over district opponent Parish Episcopal in the semifinals on Tuesday.

Laila Nieto scored Ursuline’s first goal against Parish, and freshman Stella Weissmueller, added the game-winner in the second half.

Bryant, Majors, Weissmueller, and Isabella Zanoni were selected to the 12-player all-tournament team for Ursuline. After the title game, Bryant was already looking forward to next season.

“Now we go for a three-peat,” she said.

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