FORT WORTH, Texas -- Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) defended its No. 1 position, youthful Marcus(Flower Mound, Texas) showed it might be a force this season, and Texas, in general, made quite a statement at the National Elite Prep Showcase over the weekend.
Eight teams -- all from Texas -- went undefeated while visitors from California and Florida were held to a combined losing record for the first time at the 34-team girls soccer showcase.
The following is our TopDrawerSoccer.com Best of NEPS summary:
The annual NEPS All-Tournament team is selected through a combination of of staff evalustions and votes from coaches of the participating schools. Jordan Harr, who suffered a season-ending injury in the closing minues of the final match Saturday was a runner-up winner for MVP.
The Texas Tech-bound superstar scored six goals and assisted on two others to lead Sachse (Sachse, Texas) to a 3-0-1 showing.
Harr's high school coach confirmed that Harr broken an ankle in four places during a play late in the final match. Harr is expected to be sidelined for four months.
4-0: Byron Nelson, Flower Mound Marcus, Southlake Carroll
3-0: Flower Mound
3-0-1: McKinney Boyd, Midlothian, Sachse
2-0-2: San Angelo Central
3-1: Coppell, Hebron, Ursuline Academy
2-1: Montverde Academy (Fla.)
2-2: Liberty (Calif.), Liberty Christian, Round Rock, Santa Margarita (Calif.), Tyler Lee
1-2-1: Arlington Martin, Belton, Fort Bend Clements, Kingwood, Nolan Catholic
1-2: Hockday School
1-3: Amarillo, Grapevine, Lubbock Monterey
0-2-1: Bishop Lynch
0-3-1: Antonion College Prep, Colleyville Heritage, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.), Plano West
0-4: Incarnate Word, Vandegrift
Day 2 of the Natonal Elite Prep Showcase wrapped up Friday, and some familiar faces return to the list for the day's top performaners.
K Peyton Bauman, Marcus (Texas), Jr.: With the match still in the balance, Bauman made a great diving save to her left to deny [Santa Margarita ca-]w (Calif.) what appeared to be a sure goal in what ended up as a 2-0 Marcus win. Bauman, who is committed to Missouri, has three shutouts to start the season.
D Brooke Boisvert, Midlothian (Texas), Jr.: After returning from a near-death accident about eight months ago, Boisvert has emerged as a defensive leader for Midlothian, which is a surprising 2-0-1 at NEPS. Boisvert is central a three-person defense that blanked Grapevine (Texas), marking the team's first win over the Mustangs.
F Stefani Doyle, Hebron (Texas), Sr.: Doyle factored in all four of the team’s goals in a 5-4 loss to Sachse. She scored one and assisted on three others.
M/D Allisyn Gardner, Southlake Carroll (Texas), Jr.: Gardner, as a holding midfielder, helped put the clamps on Montverde Academy (Fla.) standout Nathali Da Silva, who was held without a goal. Also, once Gardner was pushed forward a bit, Southlake started to mount more serious attacks, which led to two goals.
F Alexandria Griffin, Southlake Carroll (Texas), Jr.: The Texas A&M commit scored three goals Friday, pushing her three-match total to five. Very athletic and a strong finisher, Griffin’s addition to Southlake Carroll’s lineup will make the Dragons tough to contain this season.
M Jordan Harr, Sachse (Texas), Sr.: One of the nation’s top prospects delivered big-time on Friday. She scored two of the team’s final three goals in a 5-4 win over Hebron (Texas) and netted the last two in a 4-4 draw with Keller (Texas). For the day, Harr had four goals and two assists.
F Cyera Hintzen, Sachse (Texas), Sr.: Harr and Hintzen are a dangerous pair at Sachse. In fact, their return was the reason for a lofty preseason national ranking. They are delivering on the offensive side as evidence by nine goals in two Friday matches. Hintzen hadone goal and three assists as the team is off to a 2-0-1 start.
F MacKenzie McFarland, Coppell (Texas), So.: McFarland scored three goals in Coppell’s victory over Belton (Texas).
F Taylor Moon, Marcus (Texas), So.: Moon delivered the first two goals and set up the third as Marcus defeated Santa Margarita (Calif.) to start an impressive two-win day. Moon was very active on the offensive end, practically demanding the ball and creating scoring chances. Moon is committed to Baylor.
F Berklee Peters, Keller (Texas), Jr.: Peters has scored at least one goal in each of Keller’s first three matches as the team has built a 2-0-1 record. The tie was a wild 4-4 draw with SIMA FAB 50 Top 10-ranked Sachse (Texas).
Day 1 of the Natonal Elite Prep Showcase wrapped up Thursday and featured several of the nation's top winter-playing girls teams, and along with it plenty of elite talent.
M Hannah Allred, Nolan Catholic (Texas), Jr.: She was dangerous once she got the ball. She also moved well and was very versatile -- playing both fom the left and right sides. Allred is committed to SMU(w).
F Katy Brown, Marcus (Texas), So.: Brown scored the first two goals in Marcus' victory.
M Courtney Corrin, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.), Sr.: Exceptionally fast and very good on the ball. She had a back-heel pass to herself that left the defender all tied up.
F Grace Cory, Southlake Carroll (Texas), Sr.: One of the top players at NEPS last year is back at it again this year. Cory scored twice to help finish off Southlake Carroll's first opponent. Cory is committed to Texas A&M(w).
F Nathalia Da Silva, Montverde Academy (Fla.), Sr.: Perhaps the most polished, uncommitted senior in the nation. A native of Brazil is not a burner but is exceptionally fast and confident with the ball at her feet. She's very dangerous in 1-v-1 situations. Da Silva already has 35 goals this season, in 16 matches.
F Alexandria Griffin, Southlake Carroll (Texas), Jr.: Griffin made her Southlake Carroll debut a special night, scoring twice in the team's 6-0 win. Griffin has committed to Texas A&A(w).
D Avery Hall, McKinney Boyd (Texas), Jr.: Hall turned in a very strong performance, helping Boyd shut out previously undefeated Ursuline Academy. Hall is committed to Kansas(w).
D Sara Houchin, Coppell (Texas), Jr.: She's the "safety net." Houchin is an outstanding outside defender, but also makes her presence known in the attack. Her perfectly played, left-footed pass sprung a teammate for a breakaway that led to a game-opening penalty kick, which she converted. Despite being a junior, she was selected as team captain by her teammates. Houchen is committed to Auburn(w).
M Taylor Jordan, McKinney Boyd (Texas), So.: Jordan spent time at attacking mid and outside mid and gave Boyd some very important minutes. Her pass to Celia Hilsabeck resulted in the team's first goal in a 2-0 win.
F Allie Luna, Southlake Carroll (Texas), Sr.: One of several offensive weapons in a loaded Southlake Carroll lineup. Although a forward by nature, her play on this night was setting up teammates for goals while scoring one of her own. Luna is committed to Kansas State(w).
F McKenzie McFarland, Coppell (Texas), So.: McFadden stepped into a new role and was very active in the attacking third. She provided a lot of movement - side-to-side and pushing up and getting back. She kept the defenses guessing where she was going to be next. McFarland is committed to Texas(w).
M Taylor Moon, Marcus (Texas), So.: Moon had a goal and two assists in her season debut with the Marauders. She's very active, checking back for the ball and able to turn and attack. Moon is committed to Baylor(w).
M Atupele Mshana, Bishop Lynch (Texas), Sr.: A defender by trade, Mshana has been pushed into the midfield on the high school team in order create some offense for a squad that graduated seven seniors from last year's title-winning team. Mshana was a physical presence. Mshana is committed to Texas(w).
M Tyler Runnels, Coppell (Texas), So.: Had a flick into the side net, and hit a legit volley with power. Runnels, who has committed to Arkansas, may emerge as the team's top offensive threat this season. Runnels is committed to Arkansas.
D Sofia Salonen, Montverde Academy (Fla.), Jr.: The junior defender scored Montverde Academy's first goal and was a steady defender. A strength of her gam were her quality distrubtions, even when under pressure. She's from Finland, and it has not been decided if she will finish up her education in the U.S. or return to Finland next school year.
M Jackie Stacy, Plano West (Texas), So.: Stacy did a good job holding up and slowing, at times, Nolan's Allred.
D Holly Streber, [Vandergrift tx-w] (Texas), Jr.: Very solid in the back who has the ability to play simple and consice. Streber has committed to Texas State.
D Grace Wall, Plano West (Texas), Sr.: Wall is fast, keep position well and had great vision. Her play helped Plano West hold Nolan Catholic scoreless.
M Chelsee Washington, Hebron (Texas), Sr.: Washington scored the first goal and proceeded to dminant the midfield the rest of the match as Hebron defeated Harvard-Westlake. Washington is committed to Bowling Green(w).
FORT WORTH, Texas – Some would consider a lineup with one senior, three juniors and seven sophomores grounds for a rebuilding season.
For Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), it’s viewed as the start of something special.
Sophomores delivered all five of the team’s goals Friday as the Marauders pulled off two nationally impressive shutout wins in less than eight hours at the National Elite Prep Showcase. SIMA FAB 50 No. 26 Marcus first defeated perennial California power No. 49 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) 3-0, then ended a 33-match undefeated streak by No. 2 Coppell (Coppell, Texas) in a 2-0 contest.
“They have talent, focus, drive, and they are hungry,” Marcus coach Chad Hobbs said of the sophomore class, six of whom started last year as freshmen. “To do what they did today, it legitimatizes what we are doing. It shows them that we can play with anybody in the state, anybody the nation.”
Taylor Moon, a Baylor commit, scored the first two goals, then assisted one by Kaity Hemperly in Marcus’ win over Santa Margarita, which had won nine of its previous 10 matches before travelling to Texas. Alabamacommit Riley Mattingly and Baylor commit Maddison Algya scored in the nightcap win over Coppell, handing the Cowgirls their first loss since the 2014 playoffs.
Through Friday’s play, Marcus is one of three teams at 3-0 in the 34-team event, along with SIMA FAB 50 No. 1 Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) and No. 7 Byron Nelson (Trophy Club, Texas).
BIG-TIME CLASH:Neaka Khalilian’s goal 20 seconds before half proved to be a back-breaker as SIMA FAB 50 No. 1 Southlake Carroll defeated Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 2-0.
The match had major national ranking implications as Southlake needed the win to stay No. 1 and Montverde was looking for a victory to up its own ranking, not to mention help justify other Florida teams, as well.
Montverde controlled play the first 20 minutes, then Southlake took over, leading to an Alexandria Griffin with 7:30 left in the half. Just as it was appearing to be a 1-0 halftime score, Sydney Nobles made a run on the right wing, and sent a pass back to Khalilian, whose strike toward the left post went unchallenged by the Montverde keeper.
“They had the better of play the first 15-20 minutes, then we made some adjustments,” Southlake coach Matt Colvin said. “We stepped the midfield up because we were getting too far back. Once we did that, we started to put [Montverde] under pressure.”
“In the first 20 minutes, we needed to score,” Montverde Academy coach Robbie Aristodemo said. “We needed someone to step up and finish, and we didn’t get it.”
SCORING FRENZY: Two nationally ranked teams were locked in a defensive struggle – then the second half started. Sachse (Sachse, Texas) rallied from three two-goal deficits to stun Hebron (Hebron, Texas) 5-4 on Friday in a match were the teams combined for eight goals in a 20-minute stretch.
Hebron held leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before Sachse closed out the match with the last three scores for the hockey-like final. Jordan Harr scored two of the last three goals, including the game winner.
MORE GOOSE EGGS: Friday was a bit more of a scorefest, yet there were still 24 shutouts in the 31 matches played. Overall, that puts the two-day total at 38 shutouts in 47 matches.