Fresh off an upset of No. 1 seed Fort Worth Southwest Christian, the T.K. Gorman girls soccer team heads to Belton to play Houston Northland Christian on Saturday in a TAPPS Division II regional playoff.
The Lady Crusaders won 1-0 in the regional round, the only four-seed to advance in the entire field.
Gorman’s win put the squad a win away from state for the second time in three years. The Lady Crusaders play the Lady Cougars at 3 p.m. Saturday at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Cru Sports Plex.
Should they win, they could play a more familiar Lady Cougars team.
Rival Grace Community battles San Antonio Christian Saturday at 6 p.m. from Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium. The winner plays the Gorman-Northland Christian winner in San Antonio on Feb. 17.
“I would love for us to play Gorman in the semis next weekend in San Antonio,” Grace coach Mitch Smith said.
Gorman coach Skyler Clarkston said he’d also welcome such a matchup, though his focus currently is solely on Northland Christian.
“Ultimately that would be a great thing,” Clarkston said. “It definitely would be very cool to see two Tyler teams in the state semis together, but as far as right now, I’m thinking about (today).”
Gorman finished fourth in TAPPS D-II District 2, which has all four of its playoff participants still alive in the tournament. Defending state champion Dallas Parish Episcopal and Dallas Christian are on the other side of the bracket.
“I think we’re in a very strong district,” Clarkston said. “The top four teams in our district are all very good.”
Smith said he thinks all four teams could end up in the state semifinals.
“I think it’s exciting that all four of our teams have advanced out of our district,” Smith said. “I like it because it shows how tough our district is.”
The Lady Crusaders (5-5-2) have been led offensively by Kelly O’Neill (three goals) and Hannah Bate (two goals). CeCe Guzman scored the winner in the area playoff last Thursday. Bate, a senior defender/midfielder, is signed to play soccer at Centenary College next fall.
Other standouts for Gorman include midfield/defender Kimi Prevost, midfielder Aubrey Miller, midfielder Maddie Behm and defender Rachel Carney, who Clarkston described as his most consistent player.
“We play as a team, we attack as a team, we defend as a team,” Clarkston said. “That’s been our main focus is playing as a unit.”
Madison Lamance is Gorman’s goalie.
“She’s done a great job,” Clarkston said of his keeper. “She’s been a solid player.”
Northland Christian finished second in District 1 and defeated Austin Hyde Park in the regional round.
Grace (12-5-3) faces the District 3 champion in a quadruple header of TAPPS soccer in Killeen. Grapevine Faith-Tomball Concordia Lutheran boys play at noon, followed by Concordia Lutheran girls against Parish Episcopal at 2 p.m. then the Parish Episcopal boys play San Antonio Christian at 4 p.m.
“They’re excited about it, they really are,” Smith said of his team playing in a large football stadium. “I was pretty excited about it myself, too. The girls are excited about playing in it.”
Smith said the team had a great week of practice and hopes to repeat its performance in the 5-0 win over Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian in the regional round, most notably getting out to an early lead.
Both Grace and Gorman hope to following in the footsteps of the Bullard Brook Hill girls team, which booked its trip to state on Thursday. The Lady Guard, in their first year as a TAPPS program, beat Austin Veritas 5-2 to advance to the TAPPS Division III state semifinals in San Antonio, where they’ll face either Carrollton Prince of Peace or Houston St. Thomas.
The Brook Hill boys also have a shot to go to San Antonio. The Guard play at Houston St. Thomas at 4 p.m. Monday in the regional round of the Division III playoffs.
TAPPS Division II Soccer Playoffs
T.K. Gorman 1, Fort Worth Southwest Christian 0
Grace Community 5, Sugar Land Fort Bend Christian 0
T.K. Gorman vs. Houston Northland Christian, 3 p.m. Saturday, Mary-Hardin Baylor, Belton
Grace Community vs. San Antonio Christian, 6 p.m. Saturday, Leo Buckley Stadium, Killeen
T.K. Gorman-Houston Northland Christian winner vs. Grace Community-San Antonio Christian winner, 10:30 a.m. Friday, San Antonio NEISD Field No. 1
Tomball Concordia Lutheran-Dallas Parish Episcopal winner vs. Dallas Christian-Houston Awty International winner, 10:30 a.m. Friday, San Antonio NEISD Field No. 2
Semifinal winners, 10:30 a.m. Feb. 18, San Antonio NEISD Field No. 1
El Paso Lydia Patterson 8, Katy Pope John Paul XXIII 1
Grapevine Faith Christian 2, T.K. Gorman 1
El Paso Lydia Patterson 3, Grace Community 2, OT
TAPPS Division III Soccer Playoffs
Bullard Brook Hill 8, Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills 0
Bullard Brook Hill 5, Austin Veritas 2
Bullard Brook Hill vs. Carrollton Prince of Peace-Houston St. Thomas Episcopal winner, 9 a.m. Friday, San Antonio Central Catholic
Austin St. Dominic Savio-Sherman Texoma winner vs. Colleyville Covenant Christian-League City Bay Area winner, 11:30 a.m. Feb. 18, San Antonio Central Catholic
Semifinal winners, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, San Antonio Central Catholic
Bullard Brook Hill 9, Tomball Rosehill Christian 1
Bullard Brook Hill at Houston St. Thomas, 4 p.m. Monday
Bullard Brook Hill-Houston St. Thomas winner vs. Carrollton Prince of Peace-San Marcos Academy winner, 2 p.m. Friday, San Antonio Central Catholic
Houston Cypress Christian-Colleyville Covenant winner vs. Austin Regents-Pharr Oratory winner, 4:30 p.m. Friday, San Antonio Central Catholic
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m. Feb. 18, San Antonio Central Catholic