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Vandegrift Girls on Historical Run
Updated: Friday, April 18 2014, 08:25 PM CDT
The Vandegrift High girls soccer team is going from a familiar situation to uncharted waters. Last weekend the Lady Vipers faced district rival Rouse in the regional final. It was the third time the two teams had met this season. With a victory, Vandegrift punched a ticket to the state tournament - a place the program's never been.
"They're excited and they're hungry," said Vandegrift head coach Jenifer Hardy. "They want to be that first Austin school to take a state title."
"I'm really looking forward to Vandegrift starting a dynasty in the soccer world," added senior forward Savannah Cavanaugh. "We've always been part of a great team with great athletes."
The Lady Vipers are making their maiden voyage to the final four thanks to some incredible defense. Entering the state tournament VHS has only allowed two goals in its past 12 games, and just one of those has come in playoffs.
The Vandegrift goalkeeper, Mariah Lechner, joined the team right before the season started - after moving from Idaho to Austin and not expecting to be on the squad.
I didn't even know I could try out," admitted Lechner. "My counselors said I couldn't because I didn't have room in my schedule for it. I introduced myself to Coach Hardy as the trainer and she heard that I was good, so she put me on the team."
"We didn't even know she existed," recalled Hardy. "We stole her from the trainers. She has definitely hit her stride for sure. She has been a strong component to our success."
The Lady Vipers face Nelson High in Friday's 4A state semi-final. With a victory, VHS will advance to Saturday's state championship game.