Kingwood has won two UIL Girls Soccer State Championships. Vype
Kingwood women’s soccer is not new to piecing together a successful season year in and year out.
Last year, the Lady Mustangs advanced all the way to the Region III-6A Semifinal match against eventual state qualifier Katy Tompkins.
This season, a collision course of this same magnitude is in the cross hairs for Kingwood as it continues its march through the playoffs.
But this year that meeting could go differently mainly because the way Kingwood is scoring – an average of 4.2 goals per game.
“Our offense last year was pretty good,” Kingwood coach Pres Holcombe said. “Colleen was one of our forwards and she’s lightening fast. Emma was also a varsity player last year but this year she has stepped into a bigger role tremendously. She scored four goals in our first playoff game, which is crazy.
“So in the attack with her and Alex Dumas and Carly Stroud, we have a very powerful offense.”
Kingwood wrapped up its remarkable 28th-straight District Championship on March 23 with a 5-0 win against C.E. King.
The Lady Mustangs finished District 21-6A play with a mark of 13-0-1.
“We wanted to end district really well because it sets you up for playoffs,” Kingwood sophomore Emma Ebert said. “We wanted to make sure we ended it strongly and kept our streak.”
Ebert has been a big key to why Kingwood’s offense has soared in 2018.
The sophomore in district play alone netted 14 goals and recorded five assists. For the season, Ebert is second on the team with 24 goals and 11 assists.
“I think I’ve grown more confident this year since it’s my second year,” Ebert said. “I’ve been working on my accuracy more this year. Last year I missed a lot, this year I’ve been focusing on that.”
Along with Ebert, Stephen F Austin commit Colleen Feagins has continued her impressive career with another stellar season.
Feagins, the reigning District 21-6A Offensive MVP, leads Kingwood with 27 goals and 14 assists.
The offensive juggernaut that Kingwood has created this season, outscoring opponents 30-1 in the final six district contests, has been a big help to first-year goalkeeper Mikayla Carlos.
“We have a really great offense, their shots are amazing.” Carlos said. “Trying to save them in practice is a challenge for me and so I feel like I’ve gotten better as a keeper trying to save their goals.”
In district play, Carlos allowed just four goals and made 21 saves. Overall on the year, Carlos let by seven goals, while making 49 saves.
The combination of the offensive firepower of Feagins, Ebert and also add in Alex Dumas (9 goals) and Carly Stroud (6 goals) and the defensive prowess of the back line and play of Carlos in goal makes Kingwood a dangerous team.
Kingwood enters the second round of the playoffs ranked No. 6 in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association poll. The only two Houston programs in front of them in the rankings are No. 4 Cinco Ranch and No. 1 The Woodlands.
Kingwood will try and get back to the Region III Tournament again in hopes of reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2002.
“Last year since it was my first year, I really didn’t know what to expect or what I was going into,” Ebert said about playing as a freshman last year. “But this year I feel more confident knowing what’s going to happen and what we’re going to go through.”
Kingwood has won two UIL Girls Soccer State Championships in program history in 1995 and 1999.
Kingwood faces George Ranch in the Area round of the 2018 playoffs today at 5 p.m. at Challenger Stadium.
As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.
Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).
Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.
But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.
Cristian Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. He acknowledged that some of his struggles last year could be attributed to some extra weight he was carrying around in addition to the already-documented mechanical flaws he had.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 22, 2024
In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.
Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.
The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.