Sooner or later, Highland Park will be seriously tested in the Class 6A playoffs. That hasn’t happened in three games thus far.
Savanna Jones scored twice and the Lady Scots shut out their third consecutive postseason opponent on Tuesday with a 5-0 win over North Mesquite in a Region II quarterfinal at Lake Highlands.
They will advance to meet Austin Westlake in the regional semifinals on Friday in Round Rock. And if they win that game, they will play again on Saturday for the right to advance to the state tournament in their first season in the state’s highest classification.
“The mindset of the girls is perfect,” said HP head coach Stewart Brown. “They’re working together for each other, and that’s what you need this time of year. They’ve been a very selfless team since Day 1, and they have fun being around each other.”
On the same field where HP dispatched Skyline and Rockwall by identical 4-0 scores in the first two rounds of the playoffs, Tuesday’s effort was more of the same. The Lady Scots hold a 13-0 margin in three playoff games combined.
Despite playing against a stiff breeze in the first half, HP dominated possession and amassed several scoring chances. The Lady Scots (21-0-2) finally capitalized when Jones deflected a cross from Lauren Pacewicz into the net in the 18th minute.
Just three minutes later, Lauren Echols made the score 2-0 after a long ball to the post from Sarah O’Neal. And Sierra Jones added a third goal after beating a defender in the box with 29 seconds remaining before halftime.
“I think we’re a better into-the-wind team just because of the way we play,” Brown said. “We try to keep the ball on the ground and look to pass, and play balls out wide rather than straight forward, which gave us a little bit of an advantage.”
Savanna Jones and Pacewicz each added goals early in the second half for HP, while freshman goalkeeper Ginny Hoy didn’t face any major challenges in posting her third straight clean sheet.
It was the third victory this season for the Lady Scots over North Mesquite (14-7-2), which finished fourth behind HP in the 10-6A standings during the regular season.