By Kelly Morris / Special Contributor
WACO — The Ursuline soccer team left no doubt about its 26th TAPPS title in 27 years. The Bears topped Houston St. Agnes 2-0 on Thursday in the TAPPS Division I state championship game.
Alex Arenas and Katie Gay each scored, and goalkeeper Leah Archer kept the shutout intact with an amazing save off a St. Agnes penalty kick with 16:46 left in the game.
Ursuline (19-2-1) didn’t allow a goal in four playoff games.
“This is definitely the best game I’ve played,” Archer said. “Everyone played great. Our bond this year was so close. It’s insane that we’ve won this many titles, but every year we work so hard to earn it. It’s not a given.”
Ursuline was tenacious from the start. The offense started strong, and Arenas found the net off a throw-in with five minutes left in the first half.
The Bears needed just one goal to top rival Bishop Lynch in the championship game last season, but this year, they built on their lead.
Ursuline kept attacking by winning every loose ball. The Bears’ 1-0 halftime lead grew to 2-0 with Gay’s goal two minutes into the second half.
“We were determined to win on this field after a different result here two years ago,” said Ursuline head coach Kelly Thompson, who won her second state title in her third season. “This is a great feeling, but I’m also sad because we’re graduating a special senior class.”
Three of Ursuline’s seven seniors will continue their soccer careers in college. Elli Brunts (Saint Louis University), Isabel Trevino (UTEP), and Lizzy Barna (Case Western Reserve) all signed in February.
“We really connected this year,” Arenas said. “We’re a family for sure.”