FEBRUARY 3, 2021
The whistle blew. The horn rang. The crowd erupted. Then silence as play began.
Not even a minute later, the horn rang and the crowd rose again as Coppell sophomore forward Preston Taylor scored a header off a long throw by senior forward Brandon Gast and gave the Cowboys the early lead over Marcus.
Coppell went to beat the state’s No. 2 ranked and the nation’s No.10 in Flower Mound Marcus, 2-0, on Tuesday night at Buddy Echols Field in a key District 6-6A match..
“[Marcus] is a great attacking team,” Coppell coach James Balcom said. “[Our main focus] was defending and making it difficult on [Marcus]. We were able to jump out and get an early goal and then a second one within the first half. Playing [Marcus] next time we’re going to have to attack them defensively and look to counter.”
Stepping onto the black and red Cowboy star, the Cowboys started the match off on the front foot. Coppell (6-5-1, 2-1 in District 6-6A) took the kickoff and with it, the first goal of the night.
“The first goal gave us a boost of ‘we’re in this and have a chance’,” Taylor said. “[It] meant a lot to our energy and getting through the game. Keeping connected, hyping everyone up when we do something good, and keeping us all together and connected as a family [helped keep up our energy].
Following the early goal from Taylor, Coppell and Marcus (8-1-2, 2-1) rallied through the first half and with 17:50 remaining in the first half, a Marcus defender attempted a pass to the Marcus goalkeeper. The pass rolled past the goalie and into the corner of the Marcus goal with ease, giving Coppell the 2-0 lead.
“[One of our challenges] was the 2-0 lead at half,” Gast said. “We needed to come out and fight hard [to keep the lead].”
Coppell held the 2-0 lead with relative ease. Marcus had several attempted goals which were saved by Coppell freshman goalkeeper Jacob Campbell.
With 14:55 remaining in the match, Marcus received a penalty kick.
“The [penalty kick] was very stressful,” Campbell said. “We knew that if I didn’t save that, our intensity probably would have dropped and could’ve ended up losing the game. The double save really kept our energy and spirits high.”
The win leaves Marcus, Coppell and Plano in a tie for second place in District 6-6A with Plano holding the head-to-head over Coppell, Marcus holding the head-to-head over Plano and Coppell holding the head-to-head over Marcus. All three sit with six points behind Plano East’s seven.
“The biggest challenge was protecting the lead,” Balcom said. “Knowing [Marcus] was going to keep coming and holding off their attack was a big challenge. This is a good win against a top team, we’ve got a game against Hebron and they’re going to play us tough.”
The Cowboys play at Hebron, with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.