By Hayley Dumesnil
Last year the Lady Guard soccer team shocked everyone by defeating Colleyville Covenant in the State Championship game in Houston 3-0. Graduating only one senior after the 2013 season, the Lady Guard were expected to win it all again this year.
Early in the season, the team adopted the motto #habit to work and live by. It paid off.
They started the year off with 2 preseason wins, one against Grace and the other against All Saints. In fact, these were the only two games in which a goal was scored on Hayden Langemeier, the Lady Guard’s goalkeeper.
After going undefeated in district, they were proving that they were a force to be reckoned with.
Going into the post-season, the girls were pretty confident about repeating, but there was that ever-present pressure to actually do it. They got a bye in the first round because they were district champions, but they easily beat Carrollton Christian in the regional game, securing their spot in the Final Four in Houston.
On March 6, the semifinal was a rematch of the state championship game against Colleyville Covenant. Goals by Katherine Stair and Janet Nwachukwu put the Guard on top and secured a spot in the championship game.
The next morning, the Lady Guard took the field against Austin Veritas. The game remained scoreless until 12 minutes remaining in the game when Elise Hawkins dribbled the ball up the field, beating multiple defenders along the way and shooting the ball right over the goalie’s head to secure the first goal of the game.
It was Elise’s first goal of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Guard just had to hold on for the win. And they did.
When that clock hit 00:00, the celebration began. Hayley Dumesnil dropped to her knees at the whistle, Kendall Wells tackled her, and the first of two dog piles began. Kennedy Rose, usually in control of her emotions, later said she didn’t cry until she heard Hayley crying at the bottom of the dog pile.
The Lady Guard ran over to the side of the field to celebrate with their lovely fans, after giving Coach Collins a nice ice bath, and to receive their trophy/medals. An overjoyed, hopping Coach Collins got his second trophy in two years and thrust it into the air to show it off.
The All-Tournament Team was named and the Lady Guard members on it were Kendall Wells, Ari Assad, Kennedy Rose, and Hayley Dumesnil.
Overall, this past season was a great success for the Lady Guard. They went undefeated, 19-0, had 17 straight shutouts, and won back-to-back state champions. They will be graduating 7 seniors this year in the class of 2014, a group of girls that have been with the team since its beginning. Hopefully, the tradition and their legacy continue. #habit