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Soccer Wins 26th State Title

The Ursuline soccer team left no doubt No. 26 in 27 years would be theirs.

The Bears topped Houston St. Agnes 2-0 Thursday night in the TAPPS Division I state championship game at Waco ISD Stadium.

Senior midfielder Alex Arenas and freshman forward Katie Gay each scored, and senior goalkeeper Leah Archer kept the shutout intact with an amazing save off a St. Agnes penalty kick with 16:46 left in the game.

Ursuline (19-2-1) didn’t allow a goal in four playoff games.

“This is definitely the best game I’ve played,” Archer said. “Everyone played great. Our bond this year was so close. It’s insane that we’ve won this many titles, but every year we work so hard to earn it. It’s not a given.”

Ursuline was tenacious from the start. The offense started strong, and Alex found the net off a throw in with five minutes left in the first half.

Ursuline used one goal to top rival Bishop Lynch in the championship last season, but this year, the Bears built on their lead.

Ursuline kept attacking by winning every loose ball. The Bears’ 1-0 halftime lead grew to 2-0 with Katie’s goal two minutes into the second half.

“We were determined to win on this field after a different result here two years ago,” said Coach Kelly Thompson, who won her second state title in her third season. “This is a great feeling, but I’m also sad because we’re graduating a special senior class.”

Ursuline’s cheering section grew as the game went on. The 5:00 p.m. kick allowed many Ursuline students to fill the stands.

Three of Ursuline’s seven seniors will continue their soccer careers in college. Elli Brunts (Saint Louis University), Isabel Trevino (UTEP), and Lizzy Barna (Case Western Reserve) all signed National Letters of Intent in February.

Every senior on the roster was eager to win one more championship.

The tradition continued.

“We really connected this year,” said Arenas, who scored outside the 18. “We’re a family for sure.”