Since 1985, only twice has a school won the UIL state girls and boys soccer titles in the same year.
Both times, it has been Wakeland.
The Wolverines swept the 5A state titles on Saturday at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, with the Wakeland girls beating Grapevine 3-2 in overtime and the Wakeland boys beating Dripping Springs 3-0. The pair of wins matched the feat from 2018, when Wakeland became the first school to sweep the boys and girls state soccer titles in 33 years.
Since the UIL’s first state soccer tournament in 1983, the only other school to win the boys and girls titles in the same season is Richardson, which did it in 1985.
“It’s only happened three times, and Wakeland has done it two of the three times,” Wakeland boys coach Andy Holt said. “That shows you how special it is, and how hard it is to do, and the grit and the fight of these kids at Wakeland.”
The Wakeland boys (24-4-1), playing in their sixth straight state title game, pulled away from Dripping Springs (26-4) early to repeat as state champions and earn the boys program’s fifth state championship. The Wakeland girls (23-1-4), who lost in the state final last year, rallied from two goals down to beat Grapevine (22-3-1) and earn the girls program’s third state championship.
The Wakeland girls played in the early game Saturday, and by late in the second half, the Wolverines hadn’t been able to finish off any scoring chances. Wakeland was down 2-0 with 10 minutes left in regulation before breaking through after Katy Gregson sent a crossing pass to Cori Cochran, who beat the goalkeeper to make the score 2-1.
“I was a little worried because 10 minutes isn’t a lot of time,” said Cochran, who was named the game’s MVP. “But after we got that first goal, we were thinking, ‘We can do this.’”
Wakeland did it with two more beautiful goals against Grapevine, which had allowed more than two goals in a match only one other time this season.
Wakeland evened the match at 2-2 with a little over five minutes left on Cochran’s shot from 27 yards out that sailed into the upper right corner of the net. That set up the two 10-minute overtime periods, and with a little less than five minutes left in the second one, Bella James scored the game-winner on a header from 10 yards off of a Sophia Pehr corner kick.
The championship game for the Wakeland boys, which followed the girls game, wasn’t nearly as dramatic. Less than three minutes into the match, Ryan Greener controlled a loose ball in front of the goal after a throw-in and scored what turned out to be the game-winner.
Wakeland scored two more times before halftime to break the game open against Dripping Springs, which had won 10 straight. Fourteen minutes into the match, Brennan Bezdek sent a crossing pass in front of the net that William Heidman headed into the net. Late in the first half, Hazani Torres found the net on a shot through a crowd to make it 3-0.
Early scoring in the playoffs has been typical for the Wakeland boys, which scored in the first 10 minutes in six of its seven playoff games.
“Every team who plays us knows who Wakeland is,” said Heidman, who was named the game’s MVP, “and it’s great to go straight into the game and show them we’re still that team.”
Wakeland is still that program, and after another sweep of the titles, Holt and Wakeland girls coach Jimmie Lankford fielded a lot of questions about why the Wolverines are so successful. There’s all the hard work and dedication, obviously, but Holt found a simple way to explain it.
“We’ve got a lot of kids who are really good at soccer.”
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