The undefeated 2019 Royse City High School varsity girls soccer team will take their momentum into Mabank, Texas this weekend to face off against Nacogdoches High School.
Royse City’s lady Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 20 wins, no losses and three draws, and was named district champions. The team will be going into their first playoff game at 6 p.m. March 28 at Panther Stadium, located 18786 E. US Highway 175.
Head Coach Derek Greenawalt said he was proud of his team for their numbers in the win column, but noted that games that ended in three ties for the team are what helped build confidence for the season.
He said these games were against teams from larger, 6A districts, and showed that Royse City was a force to be reckoned with.
“We put in performances against all of them,” Greenawalt said.
Seniors Jenna Patterson and Leslie Anchondo were captains of this year’s varsity squad. Patterson said games against teams from larger districts let the team know that they could compete at a high level.
“We started off not knowing how the season would go because we had a lot of freshman, but everyone really stepped up as a team to put in the performance against those teams,” said Patterson, a forward.
The team had eight seniors and five freshman. Greenawalt told the Royse City Herald-Banner that the older girls on the team took it upon themselves to mentor the younger members on the squad.
Anchondo, a defender, said she has seen the team grow each year. She has played with Patterson and the many of the other seniors on the team since they were in middle school.
“It’s pretty exciting getting better every year,” Anchondo said. “If you play more years with year other, you get more comfortable with each other.”
As for any nerves or worries he has in the upcoming playoff game against Nacogdoches, Greenawalt said he trusts the girls on his team to keep each other in line, as they have done for the season.
“They hold each other accountable; I don’t need to do anything,” Greenawalt said. “The best part is how they all mesh together. They are the perfect ingredients to a good team.”
Though he said it’s still too early for him to look back at the season, he praised his team for their work.
“I’ve been part of special teams as a player and coach, but never had an undefeated season. This is a very very special moment and a very special group of individuals here,” Greenawalt said.