Highland Park’s Presley Echols tied a school record with her 50th goal of the season on Saturday against Frisco Independence, and it also was the game-winner. (Photo: Rob Graham)
CARROLLTON — Re-defining the term “golden goal,” Presley Echols and Highland Park are heading back to the state tournament.
Echols scored for the 50th time this season, lifting the Lady Scots to a 2-1 win over Frisco Independence in the Class 5A Region II final on Saturday at Standridge Stadium.
The HP junior provided the game-winner with about 5 minutes remaining to tie the school mark for goals in a season. She’ll have a chance to break the record at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, when the Lady (24-1-3) Scots meet Kingwood Park in the state semifinals at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.
HP, which won the 5A state crown in 2017, returns to the state tournament after a narrow miss last season. The Lady Scots extended their winning streak to 21 games, and has outscored its opponents this season by a combined margin of 153-13.
Playing with a stiff breeze, HP’s Sydney Cox opened the scoring with a first-half goal following a Halley Ray corner kick. The Knights (22-2-1) responded with a Tallin Nieman goal early in the second half.
Moments after Echols’ shot found the back of the net, the Lady Scots capped a long day — the game was delayed for more than four hours because of weather — in jubilation.
Kingwood Park (26-1-2) surged past Pflugerville to win the Region III championship on Saturday. The winner of Thursday’s semifinal will play either Mansfield Legacy or Dripping Springs at 11 a.m. Saturday for the crown.