Cowboy comeback leads to playoffs against Allen


Nick Larry

Coppell senior midfielder Walker Stone dribbles against Plano East on Feb. 12 at Buddy Echols Field against Plano East. The Cowboys play Allen tonight at 8 p.m. at McKinney ISD Stadium.

Anjali Krishna, Executive Editor-in-Chief

On Feb. 18, the night the Coppell boys soccer team lost 6-2 to Plano, a realization came to the Cowboys: if they continued to play as they were, their season would end without a shot at making a playoff run.

Four days later, Coppell senior midfielder Walker Stone put up a hat trick against Plano West that would change the tides of his team’s season, from luck to formation to mentality, leading his team to five consecutive wins and into the bi-district playoffs. 

The Cowboys play Allen (9-1-2) tonight at 8 p.m. at McKinney ISD Stadium.

“We know they’re going to be playing really hard, really physical,” Coppell senior goalkeeper Arath Valdez said. “We’re going to be giving it back to them. We get lazy with finishing and tackles sometimes, but we’ll keep that in check.”

Allen is led by senior center Ayden Mendoza, and though it graduated 19 seniors last year, the Eagles ended its regular season as District 5-6A champion, letting in only five goals throughout. Allen is notably missing senior forward Matthew Sanchez, according to Coppell coach James Balcolm, which the Cowboys hope to capitalize on.

While a new formation with an additional midfielder on the field and new striker in sophomore forward Gareth Murillo have propelled Coppell, a united mentality and simple law of averages brought the Cowboys to its fourth place finish in District 6-6A. 

“We’ve been playing the playoff game since the Plano game,” Valdez said. “It was win or go home and we had to win everything to go to the playoffs. We’ve been winning and winning and winning and we worked hard to get to this playoff game, so we’re in it to win.”

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