By Joe Harrington / Special Contributor
AUSTIN — Highland Park freshman Rachel Wasserman had two assists in the second half, including one on the game-changing goal with 23 minutes left to play, to help give the Lady Scots a 2-0 win over Austin Westlake in a Class 6A Region II semifinal at Reeves Athletic Complex on Friday.
HP (22-0-2) advances to play Pflugerville Hendrickson at 11 a.m. Saturday in the regional final, with the winner moving on to the state tournament.
HP and Westlake (20-2-1) played to a scoreless draw in the first 40 minutes, despite the Lady Scots controlling the ball for much of the last 20 minutes before halftime.
About 16 minutes into the second half, Wasserman found Savanna Jones for the go-ahead goal that pushed the momentum even further toward HP. Wasserman found Lauren Echols with 2:54 remaining in the game to cushion the lead.
“Westlake is obviously a very, very good team and has some special players,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “First 20 minutes, I thought Westlake was in control of the game and we were kind of hanging on, and for some reason the momentum switched at the 20-minute mark.”
The Lady Scots controlled the ball, and it took four saves from Westlake goalie Paige Wallace to keep them from scoring in the first half. After halftime, Brown said he knew it was only a matter of time before his team converted.
“We felt as if we got one, we’d just relax,” Brown said.
In four postseason games, HP has yet to allow a goal, and has outscored its opponents by a combined 15-0.
Hendrickson (15-4-4) was the third-place finisher in District 13-6A during the regular season. The Hawks topped Sachse 3-2 in overtime earlier Friday.
“I talked to a lot of coaches about the teams who were here,” Brown said. “And everybody talked about the team spirit and the ability to play for each other that Hendrickson showed. I thought I saw that today.”