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Win and advance: Coppell clinches playoff berth in weather-shortened win over Plano East



PLANO, TX – With one twitch of the head by Coppell senior Maya Ozymy and a little help from Mother Nature, the Cowgirl soccer team has clinched a berth in the playoffs.

With 31:37 remaining in regulation, the siren above the athletic office adjacent to Buddy Echols Field sounded to indicate a nearby thunderstorm. Coppell took cover in the office. Just over 80 minutes later, continuous lightning forced the rest of the game to be cancelled.

But, the Cowgirls weren’t complaining.

Coming into Monday’s game, all that Coppell had to do to clinch a playoff berth was to either earn a victory against Plano East or have Flower Mound top Plano. Both scenarios happened. Coppell and Flower Mound won their respective games by a score of 1-0. The Lady Jags’ game against the Lady Wildcats was called with 18 minutes remaining in regulation.

A celebration ensued.

“Our girls were excited,” said Rebecca Sawers, Coppell head coach. “They were in here and whenever we saw that Flower Mound beat Plano, they were so excited. They came into this game ready to put in the work.”

East had the better chances early on. But, Coppell adjusted and began to create some scoring opportunities of its own. Nineteen minutes into the match, the Cowgirls were rewarded.

Ozymy scored on a header that she redirected on a perfectly placed service by junior Reneta Vargas midway through the first half to give Coppell a 1-0 lead. The play started when the Cowgirls forced a turnover in the East side of the field. Vargas then glanced at an official to make sure that she was onside. She took two steps before kicking the ball to Ozymy.

“It was a beautiful combo,” Sawers said. “Reneta just has perfect timing. And for Maya, one of her strengths is heading the ball. It was a great play.”

Then, early in the second half, inclement weather intervened.

There was a scenario where Coppell could have leapfrogged Hebron and finished in third place in District 6-6A. For that to happen, the Cowgirls would have needed Plano West to upset the Lady Hawks. But, Hebron defeated West, 2-0, and wrapped up third place and will play Allen in the first round of the playoffs.

Coppell (14-4-1 overall, 7-3-4 District 6-6A) draws District 5-6A champion Prosper (21-0, 12-0), the state’s No. 1-ranked team in 6A, in the bi-district round of the Class 6A playoffs, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at McKinney ISD Stadium.

“I’ve seen Prosper a couple of times,” Sawers said. “They’re a talented team. We’re a talented team. It’s going to be a good game.”

Coppell will come into its playoff game as a well-rested team. The Cowgirls played for the first time in 10 days Monday following a stretch in which they had played 11 games in a span of 19 days.

“We needed it,” Sawers said. “It was definitely necessary to get the girls’ energy level back up after playing four games a week for two straight weeks and then three games the next week.”