On Friday night in Southlake, Cooper Raney led all scorers with 6 goals, including a behind the back game winner with just 13 seconds left, to help ESD defeat Southlake 15-14 in the Class AA quarterfinal round. With Friday’s performance, Raney brought his total goals for 2023 to 68 and broke the single season record for goals scored in ESD program history.
The 2nd Season is here and that means win or go home. Southlake came into the match-up as the number 4 seed having defeated number 5, ESD, 14-6 back on March 8th. With a trip to the Final Four on the line, we knew these two programs would bring the juice on Friday, and they did not disappoint!
This game was a high scoring affair from the jump as the crowd was treated to 4 goals on the first four possessions of the game. Just 3 minutes into the game and the score was 3-1, Southlake. Each team would score once more in the first and Southlake was up 4-2 heading into the second quarter.
Both teams are absolutely LOADED with offensive talent and on Friday, we witnessed their full compliments find the back of the net. ESD had 7 different goal scorers in the 15 goal effort while Southlake had 5 different players find the back of the net. Sean Browne, Camden Konradi, and Blair Brennan each had 2 goals for ESD while Jake Swift, Jackson Pennington, and Xavier Montiero each scored 1 goal in the win.
In the early season win back in March, Luke Sganga had 8 goals. Friday night, in the loss, Sganga led the Dragons with 5 goals and 2 assists. Quinn Tyler was also excellent with 4 goals to his credit. Max Bushaw had a hat trick of his own while Sam Sheehan and Jack Manero each added 1 goal apiece.
In the second quarter, Neil Shenoy was dominate at the face-off X and Southlake was efficient with their possessions. The Dragons dominated time of possession and applied tons of pressure offensively while capitalizing on ESD errors. A 4-2 run gave Southlake an 8-4 lead headed into halftime and the game felt like it was getting out of hand for ESD.
Sganga netted his 4th to push the lead to 5 goals on the opening possession of the second half. ESD responded just 8 seconds later and then Sheehan scored to extend the lead back to 5 goals with 9:51 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
It is no secret that ESD can EXPLODE for big offensive runs at any moment and on Friday night, when they needed it the most, they did just that. In a 4-minute span, the Eagles rattled off 5 goals straight to tie the game at 10 with 5:43 remaining in the 3rd. Bushaw scored his 2nd of the night a few minutes later and Southlake was up 11-10 headed into the 4th quarter with the game very much hanging in the balance.
Browne scored just 39 seconds into the fourth quarter to tie the game and spark a 4-goal ESD run. With 7:02 remaining, ESD was up 14-11 with all momentum in their favor. Southlake would not go away, though.
The Dragons went on a 3-goal run to tie the game up at 14 with 2:03 remaining. With just 42 seconds left to play, an errant feed led to a loose ball that popped up in the air. Quinn Tyler made an amazing play when he snagged it, turned, left his feet, and buried it before landing in the crease. The go ahead goal was called off due to Tyler landing in the crease after leaving his feet. ESD cleared and called timeout.
On the final possession, ESD’s first shot went just wide and out of bounds. On the restart, Montiero dodged and found Raney inside with 13 seconds left. Raney went behind the back for the go-ahead goal to complete one of the best comebacks we have ever witnessed and send ESD back to the Final Four.
Big time players make big time plays in big time games. There was plenty of big time players making big time plays Friday night for both teams. Kowalewski and Mammoser both made their fair share of saves. The draw men traded wins at the face-off X for most of the night. Defenseman made plays all over the field and the offensive players produced plenty of highlight worthy goals.
2023 was an excellent season for the Dragons filled with a lot of firsts. Their first program win vs ESD. Their first sweep of the North Class A, West district and their highest playoff seed in program history. The senior class for Southlake will be missed, but the Dragons have a lot to look forward to and build on in 2024.
With the win, ESD punched their ticket to the Class AA Semi-finals and will have a rematch with #1 Highland Park this Saturday at 12:00PM at Coppell High School. This a game you surely will not want to miss. There is no love lost between these two programs any time they face-off and Highland Park beat ESD 8-6 just a week ago adding a little something extra to the upcoming rivalry game.
The #2ndSzn is in full effect! There’s 2 more days of action this weekend as all Classes of THSLL head to Coppell for the State Semi-Finals and Championship rounds. Follow along as #StickStarReport23 will have you covered. Please like, share, comment, and #SupportTheReport over at StickStarApparel.com.