Three events with national ranking consequences started Thursday, the first day of regular-season play for the Texas UIL programs, and by in large the highly ranked teams held their own -- al beit in a nail bitter for two boys powers.
TopDrawerSoccer will compiled a daily recap for these three events.
NORTH TEXAS ELITE SHOWCASE
Co-hosted between Marcus (Texas) and Coppell (Texas), the North Texas Elite Showcase has been elevated to national status this year as out-of-state powers Brophy Prep (Ariz.) and San Clemente (Calif.) join a strong field of Texas schools, which includes last year's 6A state runner-up and state semifinalist. Seven of the eight teams in this year's event are ranked in the FAB 50.
FAB 50 No. 1 Sam Houston (Texas) and No. 3 Brophy Prep were pushed to a shootout following regulation ties, but both emerged victorious to move to Friday's semifinals and keep alive a chance at a Saturday title meeting.
Sam Houston won a wild match over San Clemente, which was tied at 4 after regulation and went to extra kickers before Sam Houston eeked out a 5-4 victory. Sam Houston led 2-1 at halftime on goals by Jose Ortiz and Kevin Tankou. San Clemente scored twice early in the second half to snag a 3-2 lead. Angel Varela tied it at 3 for Sam Houston before San Clemente surged ahead again 4-3. In the closing minutes, Ortiz ripped a free kick from 30 yards out to tie the match. In the shootout, Tankou converted the winning penalty and keeper Izac Garcia made two saves for the victory.
Day 1 also saw the Marcus debut for coach Chad Rakestraw, who had previously led Coppell into the national scene. Rakestraw's Marcus squad emerged with a victory to move into a clash with Sam Houston on Friday.
DAY 1 RESULTS
DAY 2 MATCHES
Consolation: San Clemente vs. Lake Travis; Juarez-Lincoln vs. Grand Prairie
Semifinals: Brophy Prep vs. Coppell; Sam Houston vs. Marcus
NATIONAL ELITE PREP SHOWCASE
The original national high school showcase for girls winter soccer is celebrating its 16th year with a loaded field. In fact, five of the FAB 50 Top 25 teams are competing in this year's event, which has representatives from California and Florida.
There weren't much in the way of surprise winners, but there were certainly surprise results. Taylor Moon, who has been a star at past NEPS events, had a goal and two assists as FAB 50 No. 5 Marcus (Texas) routed No. 10 Ursuline Academy (Texas) 5-1. The other major surprise was No. 44 Carondelet (Calif.) completely running over No. 6 Keller (Texas) 7-1, in what was Keller's second match in less than six hours.
In addition to Moon, other stat standouts included Southlake Carroll's Maddie Drenowatz, with four goals and one assist, and Taylor Tufts, with five assists, and Carondelet's Cassidy Tshimbalanga, with two goals and one assist.
DAY 1 RESULTS (Note: players in parentheses assisted the goal)
FAB 50 No. 5 Marcus (Texas) (1-0-0) 5, FAB 50 No. 10 Ursuline Academy (Texas) (9-1-0) 1 -- M: Lauren Robinson (Angelina Licari), Kaity Hemp (Taylor Moon), Moon (Hemp), Algya (Moon), Katy Brown (Algya). UA: Sydney Hurburt.
FAB 50 No. 11 Southlake Carroll (Texas) (1-0-0) 9, Buchholz (Fla.) (9-4-0) 0 -- SLC: Maddie Drenowatz (Taylor Tufts), Georganne Phelps (Tufts), Madeline Bryant (Phelps), Drenowatz (Tufts), Drenowatz (Phelps), Phelps (Tufts), Drenowatz (Gabby Jamall), Phelps (Drenowatz), Leslie Fields (Tufts).
FAB 50 No. 44 Carondelet (Calif.) (6-2-2) 7, FAB 50 No. 6 Keller (Texas) (0-1-1) 1 -- C: Alli Moody, Angelina Scoma (Cassidy Tshimbalanga), Elizabeth Ospeck, Tshimbalanga (Keira Mullin), Tshimbalanga (Keeley Murphy), Darlin Hayworth, Hayworth. K: Sarah Gunderson (Ally Floth).
Odessa (Texas) (1-0-0) 3, Antonian (Texas) (11-1-0) 0 -- O: Gia Nunez (Ashley Venegas), Venegas (Jamie Natividad), Natividad (Venegas).
Plano West (Texas) (0-0-1) 0, St. Agnes (Texas) (5-2-1) 0.
San Angelo Central (Texas) (1-0-0) 3, Fort Bend Clements (Texas) (0-1-0) 1 -- SAC: Addison Bonaventure (Leslie Nuno), Tegan Wilson (Bonaventure), Averi Handy (Wilson). FBC: Sasha Lobo (Alexis Malveaux).