This past weekend, the Plano East girls' soccer team came very close to being the best 5A girls team in the state.? Extremely close.? Add up the inches and it would be less than the width of your computer monitor.
After dispatching Houston Clear Lake 2-0, East met the Southlake Carroll Lady Dragons in the final.? The Lady Panthers seemed to be taking in the sights at the beginning of the game.? East seemed to lack its usual energy and were often beaten to loose balls.? They could not mount much offensive pressure, though one should keep in mind that they were facing a brisk wind and a stingy Southlake Carroll defense.? The Lady Dragons had only given up 9 goals in the preceding 21 games.? Southlake Carroll ended the half up 1-0 after defender Leslie Shurtleff placed a low shot just inside East keeper Rachael Stelly's left post.? In the second half, Shurtleff scored on a long free kick into the wind that snuck inside the farside, top corner.? The two goal deficit got East's attentions, and the game became much more competitive.? East senior midfielder Carolyn Polcari used the wind to launch some long attacks on goal.? About halfway through the second half, Polcari, bound for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, scored a goal with a well struck free kick from the right of goal.? The ball found its way to the small space between Carroll keeper Catilin Schneider's fingertips and the far, upper corner of the goal.? Later in the half, Polcari had another free kick; this one from just outside the penalty box.? Her shot bounced off the crossbar down to the ground but did not cross the line, and Carroll cleared the ball out of danger.? Finally, with a less than a minute left, East played the ball up the right side of Carroll's defense.? As the Carroll fans counted out the final seconds, East junior Serena Hines moved the ball up to senior Creeia Nuckols who angled the ball toward Polcari, then to the arc to freshman Rachel Cohenour who found Polcari just shy of the penalty kick spot.? Polcari ripped a shot as time expired, but keeper Schneider managed to smother the ball as the horn sounded.? Fifteen seconds later, Schneider was mobbed by her ecstatic teammates.? Meanwhile the East players could hardly move as they thought about how far they had come this season.? This was the first girls' team to make the state tournament, and they set the bar high for future East teams in the state tournament.? East will graduate 9 seniors including their starting back line, but there are plenty of talented juniors with the experience of the state finals to help lead this team next season.? For now, the Lady Panthers can be happy with being the best ladies' soccer team in school history.
Plano East and their fans were cautiously optimistic going into the second half of the 5A State semi-final game against Houston Clear Lake.? East had a 1-0 lead thanks to Serena Hines' early strike, but had missed an opportunity to go up 2-0 when Carolyn Polcari's penalty kick was stopped by the Clear Lake keeper.? Early in the?second half, Clear Lake?was awarded a?penalty kick that deflected off the left goal post.? From that point East?put good pressure on the Clear Lake defense while their own?defenders shut down the?Clear Lake attack.??East finally got some breathing room with less than?5 minutes to play when senior forward Courtney Garner took a throw in, maneuvered past the last line of Clear Lake defenders, broke in on goal, and beat the keeper.? East won the game 2-0 and earned a spot in Saturday's championship game.? The final will take place at 11 AM at Round Rock ISD Stadium in Austin.? East faces another area team in South Lake Carroll.
Almost 400 citizens from precinct 25 showed up for the Presidential Caucus held after? primary voting.?Unofficially, 303 voted for Illinois senator Barack Obama while 85 voted for Senator Hillary Clinton from New York.?
The caucusers from four precincts met in front of City Hall, but the turnout was so large that the courthouse and the fire engine bays were needed to accommodate everyone.
Murphy resident Onditi Nunda and his son "Tata" came to the firehouse for the caucus process 4 March 2008.
The Lady Panthers soccer teams took on Allen Tuesday night at Clark field.? The varsity team brought in a 4-1 district record and the goal of beating Allen, the #2 ranked team in the area in the SportsDay poll.? Plano East began the game with energy and seemed to possess the ball more in the first half.? In the 7th minute, senior forward Courtney Garner raced to a ball that the Allen defenders had left for their keeper.? Garner got to the ball just before the Allen goalkeeper who could not fully possess the ball.? Garner then put the loose ball into the unguarded net for a 1-0 East lead (see picture).? In the second half, Allen seemed to have the upper hand and put pressure on the East defense and keeper.? Allen eventually scored to tie the game.? Despite some late chances by Plano East, the game went to a shootout.? The shootout proved exciting as Allen scored on its first two, and Plano East found themselves needing two scores and a stop to avoid a loss.? East keeper Rachael Stelly held up her end of the deal getting just enough of the Allen player's shot to deflect the ball wide of the cage.? East juniors Lisa Sliwinski (back from a 5 week absence due to an ankle injury) and Serena Hines scored in their shootout turns to force the sudden death shootout.? Hines' goal was particularly exciting as the Allen keeper took some momentum off the shot but was not able to collect the ball before it rolled into the net for a goal.? In the first round of sudden death shootout, Allen scored and East missed leaving Allen with an unblemished record for now.? East is 4-2 in district halfway through the schedule and will go to Lake Highlands on Friday to open the second half.
Plano East Hockey and USA Hockey celebrate Hockey Across America with four days of events.? The celebration kicks off with the varsity game versus Plano West at 6:30 PM at the Plano Dr. Pepper Star Center on Thrusday February 21.? Before this game, the seniors on the team will be recognized for their contributions.? On Friday, fans are encouraged to wear East Hockey gear to school.? Saturday brings an opportunity for students 6th grade and older to skate with the Panthers.? Check online at www.peshhockey.com for more details.? On Sunday, the JV team plays Flower Mound at 4:15 at the Plano Dr. Pepper Stars Center.? If you enjoy hockey, this weekend is a great opportunity to show your support of Plano East Hockey.? See this link for a .pdf flyer?for the events.
Plano East women's varsity soccer participated in the Lewisville Cup this past weekend, 24-26 January.? The Lady Panthers tied Keller Fossil Ridge 1-1 in their first game then beat host Lewisville 1-0 on Friday afternoon.? On a foggy Saturday morning, East jumped on Arlington early and eventually rolled to a 4-0 victory.? The win was punctuated with the fourth goal (at left) coming on a header by Ashley Ramos, a?Murphy resident,?resulting from a rebound of a well placed free kick by Katie Leto, a former Murphy Mustang.? The?tournament was based on a point system with 6 points given for a win,?three for a tie, and extra points for a shutout and per goal up to 3.? East got the maximum 10 points in the game against Arlington and needed each of them, winning the tournament by one point.? It was a great way to close out the preseason, and now all the team's attention is focused on their first district game to be played Tuesday 29 January against Lake Highlands at Clark East Stadium.
Plano West came into the Plano East gym 25 January atop district 9-5A and ranked 5th in the area by SportsDay.? The house was full and the home team fans were treated to an exciting game which Plano East won 77-67 thanks to a strong first half.? Senior guard Quincy Diggs (right)?paced the Panthers with 29 points while senior?forward Jonathan West and senior guard Anthony Hill both added 15 points.? The win put East in a tie with West atop the district standings, each at 7-2.? Next up for East is an away game at Richardson.? The next game at Plano East gym is 1 February against Richardson Berkner.
The Plano East soccer teams held their annual kickoff dinner on Wednesday 23 January with high hopes for the season.? Panther soccer welcomes a new women's varsity coach in Dawn Crow,?while men's varsity coach Rick Woodard, men's JV coach Karl Pointer, and women's JV coach Harold White?return for another season.? All four teams begin district play Tuesday the 29th with games against Lake Highlands.? The men's teams will play at Lake Highlands while the women's teams will play at Clark East field.? Murphy residents can keep their eyes on several hometown players this season.
The Murphy ladies are (left to right, back row) Rachel Cohenour, Caitlin Hennum, Katie Leto, Ashley Ramos, Marissa Holden, and Maddie Morgan on varsity, and (left to right, front row) Kelly Mezzanatto, Ashton Corum, Lauren Jolly, Paige Pitman, and Stephanie Williams on JV.
For the men's teams, (left to right, back row) Mike Janowski, Steven Trejo, Peyton Hickey, Mohammad Omar, and Zach Dodge are on the Varsity team.? (Front, left and right) James Saulnier and Tyler Breysacher are on the JV team.
On Thursday, Plano East had the difficult task of defeating #3 state ranked Allen to earn a spot in the playoffs.? The Panthers finished the first quarter with a 28-21 lead, but the Allen defense held East to only one more touchdown the rest of the way.? Meanwhile Allen put 14 points up each of the last three quarters for a 63 - 35 victory.? East quarterback Riko Smalls threw for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns but also 3 interceptions.? East receiver Zach Patteson finished with 106 yards on 8 receptions while Toben Opurum garnered 104 yards on two receptions.? Opurum also ran for 66 yards while D'Lyle Washington ran for 73 yards.? East's loss ends a season that started with great promise but ended with more disappointment.
Allen's victory over Plano East Thursday night cleared the way for Wylie to claim a playoff position Friday night.? Needing to win at Wildcat - Ram Stadium, Wylie jumped out to a 14 point lead and never looked back.? Jerod Monk threw for 153 yards and ran for 67 yards and a touchdown.? David Duvall ran for 131 yards and?two touchdowns.? Noah Cheshire ran for the other touchdown.? Zac Ohannessian kicked two 34 yard field goals including one after Lake Highlands?attempted to?ice the Wylie kicker with three consecutive?timeouts.??Wylie's 34-17 victory earned them the fourth playoff spot in district?9-5A.?
The Plano East Panthers went to Clark Stadium to face off against the #5 area ranked Plano Wildcats desperately needing a win.? The Panthers had the game tied at 14 deep into the 4th quarter, but Plano scored two unanswered touchdowns to put the game away.? East QB Riko Smalls threw for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns.? The recipients of the touchdown passes were Kevin Smith, who caught 6 passes for 98 yards, and Zach Patteson who caught 5 passes for 68 yards.