When a team rolls through much of the regular season unchallenged, the playoffs often present a new set of rigorous obstacles.
Then again, HP can draw on an extensive history of postseason success to carry it through the inevitable close calls, such as Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Frisco Memorial in a penalty shootout.
Showing the resilience of a defending state champion, the unbeaten Lady Scots (21-0) rallied from a first-half deficit, then outlasted the Lady Warriors (20-3-3) by a 4-2 count in the shootout in a Class 5A Region II semifinal in Coppell.
HP advances to meet Frisco Wakeland in the regional final at 7 p.m. Friday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. Wakeland (18-2-3), which crushed Forney 6-0 in the other regional semifinal, handed the Lady Scots their most recent playoff defeat in the same round in 2018.
Parker Hart scored the lone HP regulation goal midway through the second half, off an assist from Hattie Patterson. That erased a 1-0 deficit and sent the game, played in windy conditions, to a pair of scoreless overtime periods.
A first-half tally by Memorial marked just the sixth goal against the Lady Scots all season, and the first since a 10-1 win on March 2 against North Forney.
It was the second overtime victory in four playoff games for the Lady Scots, who also needed extra time to slip past Red Oak in the bi-district round.
The Lady Warriors, in just their third varsity season, won the regular-season title in a competitive District 9-5A that included Wakeland. They reached the fourth round by previously eliminating Carrollton R.L. Turner, who was advanced after COVID-19 complications caused a forfeit by Wylie East.
The winner of the upcoming HP-Wakeland clash will face either Amarillo or Grapevine in the state semifinals at a neutral site on April 13.
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