The Magnolia High School girls soccer team finished an amazing run through the Texas state playoffs with a disappointing, but hard fought loss in the state semifinals April 18, in Georgetown.
The Bulldogs lost to top-ranked Denton Guyer 4-2, ending their season with a 19-6-2 record.
Magnolia fell behind late in the first half, giving up three goals within a span of six minutes, before Allison Abendschein headed a goal in after Zoe Bauerschmidt launched a corner kick her way.
They were down 4-1 with about three minutes to play in the contest, before senior Valerie Turner kicked a bullet, from about 20 yards away, past the Guyer goalie, for the final 4-2 score.
Some of the players and Magnolia head coach April Cleveland talked with the Tribune before traveling to the state tournament, after taking home the regional title.
"This experience has been awesome," Cleveland said. "Just being around the girls and the way they know how to have fun, but can turn it on when they have to. It's been an amazing experience."
"We've been an underdog for awhile now, but we like that," said senior Bauerschmidt. "We don't put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We just play for each other."
With a team loaded with 14 seniors, Cleveland expected a good showing this year.
"Did we expect (the final four)? No," Cleveland said. "But one of our goals was to make it to regionals and once we did that we reset them and expected to get to state."
Magnolia reached the regionals and then won the region three title. They fell behind several times during their playoff run, but always bounced back in the second half. They defeated Huntsville (3-0), Lumberton (3-1), Port Neches-Groves (1-0), Waco University (2-1), Kingwood Park in overtime (2-1) and Stratford (2-1).
Against Stratford, the Bulldogs fell behind 1-0 at the end of the first half; before senior Abendschein scored two second half goals to help bring the region three trophy back to Magnolia High School.
"No one expected us to get here," Abendschein said.
Bauerschmidt, Abden-schein and Turner have played together since they were in fifth grade.
"Since we were little babies," Bauerschmidt said.
"Knowing it's going to be our last games together makes us want to play hard," Abendschein said.
'We've never made it past the second round before and we wanted to make history," Turner said.
They did exactly that.