Texas HS Girls: SPC Champions – Episcopal Lady Knights
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The Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) was the first High School League to complete its soccer calendar in 2024 and history was made in Division 4A with the first title of the Episcopal Lady Knights of Houston. Having one of the…
The Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) was the first High School League to complete its soccer calendar in 2024 and history was made in Division 4A with the first title of the Episcopal Lady Knights of Houston.
Having one of the most talented squads among all private high schools in Texas, Episcopal navigated its season schedule with great efficiency, ending their undefeated campaign with 12 wins and five ties – 62 goals for, and nine against.
The Lady Knights claimed the historic title on Saturday, when they beat defending champions Dallas Hockaday in a penalty kick shootout after the teams tied 1-1 in regulation and overtime at The Kinkaid High School in Houston.
It was a historic result for Episcopal, so let’s know a little bit more about the squad that took them to unprecedented glory:
Juniorwas the Lady Knights’ goalkeeper for the season and she did an outstanding job for them between the posts, registering 12 clean sheets in 17 matches. A goalkeeper with a very strong mentality on the field, she came up big for Episcopal in the shootout against Hockaday, saving one penalty kick and converting another one herself.
The strength of Episcopal’s backline was one of the team’s main assets in the season as the team only allowed nine goals in 17 matches, being very tough to score on. The team had two excellent center backs in sophomoreand junior Francesca ‘Franny’ Johnson, who are both very physical and great at winning the ball back, but also know what to do with it when in possession.
A talented midfielder, seniorspent time at outside back this season and added a lot of quality to the team’s offense with her plays down the flank – she was also pivotal for the team in the Championship match as a free kick she took just outside the penalty box generated the equalizer for the Lady Knights. Sophomores and Jocelyn Day also played major roles for the team at outside back.
Sophomore, junior Sadie Butler and senior Lizzy Randall were the most used options at the defensive midfielder positions. The three covered a lot of ground defensively, allowed the outside backs to push forward and also did solid work with their passing in possession.
In front of them, juniorwas the Lady Knights’ main playmaker. A very dynamic player, she plays with a lot of energy and is very skilled and smart on the ball, besides moving extremely well to get passes in the final third.
An outside back at the club level with HTX, junior Dayla Henderson played up top for Episcopal. Her pace, physical tools and dribbling ability made of her a threat around and inside the penalty box as she led the line for the Lady Knights.
Episcopal had sophomoreand junior Arianna Espana as their most-used options at the wings. While the former played mostly on the left and was great at getting into the penalty box to finish chances (she converted the final PK in the shootout), the latter was more of a chance-creation with her ability to dribble and pass the ball on the right.