By Billy Wessels/Special Contributor
CARROLLTON — They say the post is the goalie’s best friend. That wasn’t the case Friday.
Highland Park sophomore Hope Hyde scored two of her three second-half goals off shots that caromed off the post in the Lady Scots’ 3-1 win against Waxahachie in the Class 4A Region II semifinals.
“I was aiming for the corner, not the post,” Hyde said. “But as long as it goes in, it’s a goal.”
After a scoreless first half, Hyde opened the scoring just two minutes into the second with a point-blank shot that went off the post and past a diving Elizabeth Gish, Waxahachie’s senior goalkeeper.
Hyde then scored off a laser shot from 25 yards out that once again came off the post and into the net with 28 minutes left in the contest.
Just seven minutes later, she got a breakaway and easily beat Gish to put the game away.
Hyde said her team is used to this stage and wasn’t concerned about a scoreless tie at halftime.
“We got a great halftime talk and came out ready to play,” Hyde said. “We were fired up and did what we had to do to win. We’re a mature team; its our third year here, my second, and we just did what we needed to do.”
Hyde has scored nine goals in the last four playoff games.
“She’s been very hot lately. The service we’ve been getting to Hope has been fantastic,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “Whether it’s been Kate Summer or Savanna Jones or Lauren Echols, she’s been putting it away nicely, and we’ve been fortunate.”
Highland Park was playing against the wind in the first half and had several scoring chances, but couldn’t take advantage of them. When the wind changed in the second half, so did the Lady Scots’ fortune.
“We settled. In the first half, we played well, but with the wind, it was difficult,” Brown said. “For us, we want to get the ball down and play. In the second half, once that first goal went in, we just wanted to continue it.”
Waxahachie’s lone goal came on a 25-yard free kick from junior Mackenzie Posey with 2:57 left in the game to prevent the shutout.
Highland Park advances to the Region II championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against either Red Oak or Wylie East.