By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The Midlothian and Midlothian Heritage girls’ soccer programs put on an exhibition of things to come at Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium — both for this season and for the next, as both sides will compete in Class 5A (and likely in the same district) in 2022-23.
No. 1 MIDLOTHIAN HERITAGE
This past year was quite the celebration for the Heritage girls’ soccer program. The group kicked off 2021 by officially immortalizing the 2018 4A state champion side with a monument dedication inside the front gate of their home stadium.
Now-sophomore Jules Burrows then put a nice tidy bow on the 2020-21 season four months later with a hat trick in the state championship match to secure the Jaguars’ second 4A state soccer title.
Heritage graduated five key members from both state championship teams in 2021 — Rachel Allen (DBU), Kylar Kenter, Hannah Dorsey, Jaedyn Barela and Savana Conde.
Barela and now-sophomore Tanner Sorenson allowed just one lone goal during the Jaguars’ near-perfect run to that second state title. The Jaguars ultimately outscored their opposition 141-11 on the season, winning their final 16 matches en route to a 27-1-0 record.
Though now-senior Logan Berumen tore her ACL in the 2021 regional final win against Argyle, she finished the season as the team’s leading goal scorer with 24. Allen (20) and Dorsey (11) were the only two seniors in double digits, as Brynn Pollock (17), Sydney Dickson (15), Burrows (13) and Kerry Scott (11) all return with goal-scoring prowess.
Pollock led the Jaguars with 23 assists. Scott (17) and Dickson (13) will also look to up their assist totals and replace the production that departed with Allen (18, team-high 58 points).
As a team, the Jaguars begin their sixth season as a program with a perfect 41-0 record in district play. They’ll also certainly be a favorite to return to Georgetown for a third and final time in Class 4A.
The Jaguars begin the season with tournament play at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 6 against Aledo in the annual Highway 287 Tournament. They will enter the match as the No. 1-ranked team in the TASCO preseason poll.
Heritage will play its first home match during the annual MISD Frostbite Tournament against Mansfield Legacy at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13.
In a year aimed at redemption, the Lady Panthers had their season cut abruptly short by playoff-foe Highland Park (2-nil) in the regional quarterfinal.
Midlothian had won 15 consecutive matches prior to the third-round playoff exit, outscoring 61-6 with 10 clean sheets over that streak.
The Lady Panthers finished the 2021 season with a 16-4-5 record, which included a 10-0-2 mark in district play and a second-consecutive 14-5A crown. They outscored the opposing side 78-16 on the year.
The successes of 2021 came after the COVID shutdown stole an incredibly promising 2020 season from the program. At the time of the outbreak, the Lady Panthers were 17-1-2 and riding a 12-match winning streak. They had outscored the opposite side 56-7 on the season.
The Lady Panthers will have to replace the production of four of their top-6 goal scorers, as Allyson Gibbs (15), Mariah Griffin (9), Bailey Wesco (8) and Abby Powers (6) all graduated in 2021.
They now look to returning underclassmen Brooklyn Piper (6 goals, 6 assists), Kennedy Husbands (6 goals, 7 assists and Addi Ball (5 goals, 8 assists) to step into more prominent offensive production roles.
Midlothian opens the 2021 season at 5 p.m. Jan. 3 on the road against Terrell. The Lady Panthers then begin tournament play with games against Cedar Park and Rockwall on Jan. 6 and 7 at 1:30 p.m. and 11:40 a.m., respectively.
The first home match for the Lady Panthers will be in the annual MISD Frostbite Tournament against Fort Worth South Hills at noon Jan. 14.