It takes something special to top the nation’s best team. Sometimes it’s a sudden burst of luck. Sometimes it’s a hero. For Highland Park, it was a bit of both.
The Scots topped the number 1 team in the USA TODAY Super 25 Girls Soccer rankings, Sachse, with a final score of 2-1 in the Class 6A Region II area finals. The victory moved Highland Park into the regional quarterfinals while ending Sachse short of the state playoffs despite entering with a 21-0-1 and the nation’s top ranking.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, after Sachse scored late in the first half to take a 1-0 lead, Highland Park knotted the score with a penalty early in the second half, then captured the area title in overtime on a shot from some 25-yards out by sophomore star Sierra Jones.
“There was a lot of talent on that field; it was going to be something special or something lucky that won that game,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown told the Morning News. “I think Sierra took a risk, which to me is special. Not a lot of kids do that.”
That, and Jones playing through dehydration cramps — she collapsed with leg cramps as soon as she finished celebrating her overtime goal — marked her as the unassuming underclassmen hero that Sachse never saw coming.
The loss will drop Sachse from the top of the USA TODAY rankings, all while pushing Highland Park on toward the state playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter: @camsmithsports