Best district in soccer only improving
It is hardly uncommon to consider Katy ISD loaded with soccer talent, skill and coaching. On the girls side alone, the district has produced the last seven of the last eight regional champions.
With Taylor, which boasts the lone state championship from 2006, Seven Lakes and Cinco Ranch regularly ranking among the region and state elite, getting through the district or third round of the playoffs is always a challenge.
Surely an upstart program would find it difficult to withstand the gauntlet. Yet, there was Tompkins proudly representing KISD in the 6A state final to close only its third varsity season.
The Lady Falcons eliminated Austin Vandergrift, 3-1, in the semifinal as freshman Barbara Olivieri scored a first-half goal on an assist from junior Leanne Veary, who added the clinching goal with four minutes remaining with the help of senior Mikylin York.
Tompkins fell 2-0 in the final to Pflugerville Hendrickson, but that did little to diminish the team’s accomplishment.
“Second place is not what we wanted but I’m super proud of every single one of them,” Tompkins coach Jarrett Shipman said following the state final. “We have an expectation to be back here next year.”
The Lady Falcons look to continue their progress after graduating a standard-setting senior class of eight. York, goalkeeper Cailey Croson, midfielders Sofia Baron, Rachel Fisher and JoAnnie Ramos, and defenders Sofia Ramos, Katy Reid and Elena Wolf helped start the program and sparked its rapid rise.
Croson, JoAnnie Ramos, Wolf and York were a three-year core for the Lady Falcons, setting career records for the younger classes to catch. Ramos exits with 25 career goals and 17 assists, including 14 and seven this season. Croson amassed 22 shutouts in goal and had a 1.22 goals against average in three seasons, including a sparkling 0.96 as a senior with 10 shutouts.
Tompkins’ scoring came from all classes, indicating the Lady Falcons could join their fellow district powers as regional tournament regulars. Olivieri scored a team-high 18 goals with nine assists, with three more years to add to that outstanding start.
Junior Kayla Ruopp contributed 12 goals and nine assists, with Veary adding 11 goals and eight assists. Freshman Skylar Parker scored nine goals, with classmate Terin Graham adding seven. York graduates after leading the Lady Falcons with 12 assists.
Tompkins completed its breakthrough season with a 19-5-3 record, including a 8-2-2 mark in District 19-6A. The Lady Falcons outscored district opponents 41-11, handed undefeated Cinco Ranch its only draw and split with Seven Lakes to hold off the Lady Spartans for the No. 2 seed.
Per recent KISD history, Tompkins had to get through two rivals to get to the state tournament. After an 8-0 rout of Kempner and a 3-2 victory against Cy-Fair, the Lady Falcons earned a thrilling 3-1 triumph in overtime against Seven Lakes for a historic regional tournament appearance.
Tompkins only seemed to improve during the remainder of the postseason, including a convincing 4-1 victory against Kingwood in the III-6A semifinals. In the fifth consecutive all-KISD final, the Lady Falcons prevailed 2-0 against a Cinco Ranch team that had won three straight regional crowns and carried an 88-7 goal differential into the match.
As a result, KISD sent its fourth different girls team to state in the last six years. Cinco Ranch graduated a strong class but returns ample talent to challenge for another state bid. Seven Lakes played for the regional championship five times from 2010-2015 and has won 10 area championships in 11 seasons. Taylor, a state qualifier in 2013 and 2016 regional finalist, concluded its first season with coach Mike Agiannidis by playing undefeated Ridge Point within 1-0.
Add Tompkins, the relatively new kid on the block, to the group and KISD soccer is as competitive as ever.