Girls soccer makes it rain at Drip, ends Tigers’ reign

Lady Knights become first Mac varsity team to triumph over Dripping Springs in district play


Anna Schlett

Freshman Mia Gomez rushes downfield followed by a Dripping Springs opponent. Not only did Gomez score for the Lady Knights on a penalty kick, making the total 1-0, but she is the only player in the district with a goal on the Tigers. “Scoring that goal was the best feeling,” Gomez said. “All of the late practices, early morning conditioning, etc. was all in preparation for this game.”

Kristen Tibbetts, staff reporter

As the perfect addition to International Women’s Day yesterday, 21 Lady Knights varsity soccer players deserve their names all over the McCallum Wall of Notable Women after a 1-0 victory over the previously undefeated Dripping Springs Tigers.

Dripping Springs has been a tough opponent for McCallum in every sport ever since they joined the district at the start of this school year. Until Friday night, no varsity Knights have chalked up a win against the Tigers.

After losing 7-1 in the first district meeting between Mac and Drip on Feb. 12 at House Park, the girls varsity soccer team traveled to Dripping Springs for a much anticipated rematch on Friday night, intent on revenge. Even though their previous loss was tough, senior Delaney Carter praised the team’s defense for keeping the ball away from the Mac goal and forcing the Tigers to shoot from long range, something that the Knights kept in mind while preparing for the rematch.

Anna Schlett
Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Plotkin prepares to punt the ball down towards Dripping Springs’ goal. In her second game starting after an injury, Plotkin made nine saves to ensure a shutout of the Tigers. “I always try to make as many saves as I can, no matter who we are playing, but I did put a little more pressure on myself than I usually do,” Plotkin said.

“We had very high expectations of them and they are a very good team,” sophomore goalkeeper Lindsey Plotkin said. “We knew that they are very good at connecting passes and taking shots from distance, so one of the main ways that we prepared was working on stepping to players earlier to make sure they didn’t have enough time to take a shot.”

The Knights hoped to get an early lead in yesterday’s game, which is exactly what they did. They brought the ball all the way downfield very early on, pressuring the Tiger’s defense. About two minutes in, outside forward Lily Morales was fouled in the penalty box and Coach Watson called in freshman Mia Gomez for the penalty kick.

“I knew I had to take [the] shot and help us get in the lead,” Gomez said. “I set up the ball and just looked at the keeper, not giving her any idea of where I’d shoot.”

Gomez kicked the ball into the lower left corner, but the opposing goalkeeper guessed incorrectly and dove for the other side.

“Scoring that goal was the best feeling,” Gomez said. “Seeing all my teammates running over to me and seeing their faces was worth all the extra hours this team has put in. Everything paid off.”

The Knights knew, however, that the game was far from over. The stakes were high and the game was tense, but a great defensive effort throughout the rest of the match led to a complete shut out of the Tigers.

I knew this was going to be our hardest match of the season. I knew we were all gonna have to work twice as hard to win this game, and that’s exactly what we did.

— Mia Gomez

In her second start since returning from a broken finger while playing LBJ in January, Plotkin felt the pressure of the situation, but did not let it interfere with her ability to make nine saves.

“I always try to make as many saves as I can, no matter who we are playing, but I did put a little more pressure on myself than I usually do,” she said.

There were many clearances and great defensive plays by the back line of Henna Mcrae, Delaney Carter, Ellie Stites and Hannah Zuniga. In the midfield, Karen Esparza, Bella Kisler, Cynthia Maldonado and Carly Johnson all helped get the ball out of the McCallum defensive half of the field. Throwing in the hard work on the wings and at the top by Gomez, Gillian Rashid, Morales, Elle Mcrae and Sophia Carter, made this game a total team effort.

“I knew this was going to be our hardest match of the season,” Gomez said. “I knew we were all gonna have to work twice as hard to win this game, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Freshman Elly Schottman joked afterward that the girls played probably the longest half of their lives; but they managed to keep the lead and claim the only District 25-5A win over the Tigers.

Anna Schlett
Freshman Anna McClellan cheers on her teammates as they draw closer and closer to solidifying their 1-0 victory over the Tigers.

“The first thing that went through my head [when the game was over] was just like ‘is this really happening, did we just beat Drip?’” Plotkin said. “Then I realized what just happened and everyone started screaming and ran to the middle of the field.”

To put this victory into perspective, Dripping Springs has only given up two goals in district games, both of which were to Gomez, making McCallum the only team in the district to score against them.

If the Knights can finish with a Senior Night victory over Lanier next Wednesday, they will earn a share of the district title. The team has a history of meeting Dripping Springs in the playoffs and coming up short, but their recent victory might set the stage for a different outcome this season.