By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Though it wasn’t known at the time, a Hannah Dorsey goal in the 16th minute Tuesday evening served as the perfect precursor.
The goal came on a loose ball in front of the Celina goal at Dragon Stadium in Southlake during the 4A state girls’ soccer semifinal. Due to COVID-19 alterations, the 2021 state semifinals were to be played on neutral, non-Georgetown sites.
Dorsey was the goal-scoring hero for the Midlothian Heritage Jaguars just four short seasons ago. She was a freshman at the time and found the back of the net in the 2018 4A Region I final to send the Jaguars to their first-ever state tournament.
So, Dorsey’s first-half goal off of a Brynn Pollock assist that ultimately sent the Jaguars back to the state title match four seasons later was about as perfect as one could script — at least to date.
Pollock sent the cross from 7 yards out on the right side of the pitch and toward the goal. She found Dorsey, who then used a second chance to sneak the goal by the Celina goalkeeper for a 1-nil Heritage lead. The goal was the 11th of the season for Dorsey, which came off of Pollock’s team-best 22nd assist.
GOAL HERITAGE!!!! 16th minute @hannahhhdorsey the senior!!! Her second effort off the rebound goes in. Assist from @brynnpollock1 1-0 @Jagsoccergirls I still remember Hannah as a freshman being hoisted up by teammates in 2018 regional final!! Wow! #UILState @MISD_Athletics pic.twitter.com/vJVaJ14H8J
— Brian Gosset (@Gosset41) April 13, 2021
That advantage held thanks to a hefty defensive effort and sent Midlothian Heritage back to Georgetown for a dance with destiny.
As a program, Midlothian Heritage will have had a soccer team compete in each of the past three 4A state soccer championships. The girls’ won the title in 2018 and will compete again at 10 a.m. Friday against Corpus Christi Calallen, while the boys’ program fell in the 2019 title game. COVID-19 robbed either program of a return trip in 2020.
Celina finished with a program-best 24-2-1 record, largely behind Taylor Zdrojewski’s state-record 114 goals. The junior averaged 4.6 goals per match and scored in each of the Lady Bobcats’ 26 previous matches.
She and her side were then shut out by Heritage senior Jaedyn Barela (6GA in 26 matches) and her fantastic backline.
The Jaguars advanced to the postseason following their fifth consecutive undefeated district championship. They’ve won 41 straight district matches over that span.
Heritage entered the playoffs with a 20-1-0 record, having outscored their opposition 105 goals to 10.
The Jaguars have since outscored their six opposing sides 30-1 to improve to 26-1-0 on the season and will ride a 15-match winning streak to Georgetown.
The only goal that goalkeepers Barela and Tanner Sorenson (freshman, 4GA in 24 matches) allowed during the playoff run came this past Tuesday in a 2-1 win against the always tough Stephenville Lady Yellowjackets.
The tandem of Barela and Sorenson has resulted in 18 clean sheets on the season.
The Jaguars defeated Diamond Hill-Jarvis (12-0), Carrolton Ranchview (8-0), Benbrook (6-0), Stephenville (2-1), Argyle (1-0) and Celina to reach the state championship match.
The lone Heritage loss came on Jan. 28 against TAPPS power and four-time state champion Nolan Catholic, 3-nil.
A 19th shutout would very likely result in a second team state championship — both for the program and Midlothian ISD.
The Jaguars previously won MISD’s first-ever team state championship by defeating Liberty Hill, 2-1, in the 2018 4A title match at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown. That match took two overtime periods and a pair of goals by then-freshman Kylar Kenter and Rachel Allen.
Fiver other Heritage freshmen took the field in uniform that day. They included Dorsey, Kenter, Allen, Barela and Savana Conde, who all remain as the group of seniors that will lead the Jaguars onto the pitch for an opportunity at the storybook ending to an illustrious high school career that only Hollywood could write.
Or, so we all thought.
Midlothian Heritage will face Corpus Christi Calallen in the 4A state soccer championship at 10 a.m. Friday at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith