Another girls soccer state title is coming to the Metroplex, and for the second straight year it was won by a first-year coach.
Plano West picked up its state-record fifth state championship Saturday, defeating Katy Seven Lakes 1-0 in Georgetown, Texas.
Hours after the game, coach Carley Phillips still had a hard time describing her feelings, having won a state title for West as a player in 2002 and now as a coach in 2012.
“There’s so much tradition and legacy behind the Plano West name through soccer,” Phillips said. “Just to be a part of that now as a coach is really cool, and it’s an elite group of people so it’s pretty nice to be a part of it.”
West junior forward Brooke Ramsier put the title winning strike on a ball just inside the box halfway through the first half for the only goal of the game.
The ball found its way to Ramsier off a deflected pass from twin sister Casie Ramsier -- a connection that West players have said can be borderline telepathic -- on the right side of the goal.
“I love playing with her because I always can count on her to know where I’m going to play the ball or know what I’m going to do,” Brooke said before the state tournament. “She’s always there for me.”
Casie echoed her sister.
“We’re just so used to playing with each other,” she said. “Our playing style is kind of the same, and we just know where each other is going to be. I always know where to play the ball.”
Brooke earned 5A state championship game MVP honors, but the game would not have been won without the athletic effort of junior goalkeeper and team captain Claire Wheatley.
Just minutes after Ramsier scored, Seven Lakes created its best offensive rush of the game, hitting a streaking forward on a breakaway. Wheatley left her line and charged the attacker, knocking aside a potential game-tying shot.
“Claire is a very talented keeper,” Phillips said. “She just really came up today and made some big saves and really just stepped up in a huge way for us.”
Phillips follows Frisco Wakeland coach Meagan Wilson as the second Dallas-area coach to win a state title in her first year of coaching, adding that it sets quite a standard for next season.
“Setting the bar high,” she said. “That’s where we like it.”