Flipping the switch: promising match ends in tie (with video)


Lilly Gorman

Coppell senior forward Brandon Gast shields against Plano East junior defender Luke Mulkey at Buddy Echols Field on March 9. The Cowboys face Prosper tomorrow in the Class 6A bi-district playoffs at Denton High School, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Kyah Jones

Torie Peck, Staff Writer

Coppell freshman goalkeeper Jacob Campbell blocks against an incoming Plano East shot at Buddy Echols Field on Tuesday. The goal resulted in the Cowboys tying against the Panthers, 2-2. (Lilly Gorman)

Gusts of wind blew over Buddy Echols Field as the Coppell boys soccer team walked onto its turf for the last time of the season.

The clock read 0:59 and the game was tied. Coppell senior forward Brandon Gast took the ball and ran with it, escaping the Plano West defenders and closing the gap between ball and goal. Gast shot the ball, ready to save the game. The ball left his feet and soared through the air, landing far right of the goal post. 

The Cowboys tied Plano East , 2-2, at Buddy Echols FIeld last night, in their final home match of the district season.

The game started off with the Cowboys (12-8-2, 8-4-1 in District 6-6A) offense working to score its goal. With 27:28 remaining in the first half, the match was stopped for nearly 20 minutes due to an injured Plano East (7-9-6, 4-8-3) athlete.

As the match resumed, Coppell senior defender Daniel Nelson raced up the far sideline and squared it to Gast, who collected the pass and smashed it into the net. And with 21:13 remaining Nelson got past his defender once again and squared it to Flores, who scored Coppell’s second goal of the night, bringing the lead to 2-0.

“We didn’t play well in the second half,” Gast said. “[The first goals] gave us energy at the start [of the match], but during the second half we got complacent and let up [too many shots].”

The Cowboys held onto its lead through the half.

“[During the half] we talked about not falling into the trap of [a low energy mindset],” Coppell freshman goalie Jacob Campbell said. “We needed to keep our drive up, but we lost our energy.”

The second half took a turn, as the swift Cowboys offense quickly fell under Plano East’s low energy. As a result, Plano East began to take control of the field.

With 9:14 remaining and the drive carried throughout the match quickly diminishing, Plano East took off down the field and shot directly towards Campbell, who saw it roll past his hands and between his legs into the net. Not even two minutes later, Plano East scored again as a cross found three open players at the back post and the shot bobbled in, tying the score.

“We started [the first half] out strong and showed the team we can really be,” Coppell coach James Balcom said. “In the second half we fell into the trap [of Plano East’s] low energy, you match that and it’s anyone’s game. If we had played all 80 minutes like we did at the start it could’ve been a different game.”

This draw marks the second match in which Coppell did not play its game for the full 80 minutes and paid the price for it. 

“We need to work on finishing out our games,” Gast said. “We’ve now had two games in a row where [we haven’t played full out] and we need to fix that.”

With its tie and Marcus’ victory last night, the Marauders were named as 2021 District 6-6A champions while Coppell is only one point clear of third place. Seeding for playoffs will now come down to two remaining matches, Coppell at Flower Mound and Plano at Plano West. 

Coppell travels to Flower Mound on Tuesday, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

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