Jordan’s run ends in state semifinal, but journey for group just beginning

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 4/14/22

“I’m just proud of these guys, said sophomore goalkeeper Elijah Betancourt. “We stuck together and never gave up. We just did everything we could and even if we lost, we’re a family and we’re there for each other.”

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Jordan’s run ends in state semifinal, but journey for group just beginning

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GEORGETOWN— Jordan wasn’t supposed to be here.

That’s what everyone said. The expectations for the Warriors in their first year of varsity play weren’t high from the outside. People didn’t expect them to make the playoffs, then make a run there, then make it all the way to the Class 5A state tournament.

 But here they were, in Georgetown, taking a 25-3 Dripping Springs team that made it to last year’s Region IV Final to the brink and giving the Tigers everything they had.

But in the end, the Warriors effort fell just short, as Jordan (18-6-2) fell 1-0 to Dripping Springs, bringing their season to an end in the state semifinals.

“We knew coming into the night that Dripping Springs was going to be a great team,” said Jordan head coach Jason Meekins. “Their record speaks for itself and their film speaks for itself. They had some dynamite players over there that we knew were going to be important. But sometimes when you just give up one yard, it can be a goal and make all the difference.”

The Warriors fought the entire night, keeping things scoreless for 70 minutes and battling defensively against a very aggressive Dripping Springs team before giving up a 71st minute goal that made all the difference.

“I’m just proud of these guys, said sophomore goalkeeper Elijah Betancourt. “We stuck together and never gave up. We just did everything we could and even if we lost, we’re a family and we’re there for each other.”

Jordan came out firing on all cylinders, creating chances in attacks for the first few of minutes of the match. But Dripping Springs got itself back into the game very quickly, putting Jordan on the back foot with a high press and creating havoc with the Jordan back line, leading to a number of chances.

Dripping Springs got a huge chance just 13 minutes in, when their high press forced a bad turnover for Jordan, but Betancourt stepped up to make a save and keep things tied at zero.

Jordan got its first big chance off a set play on a free kick in the 26th minute. The initial ball went out wide, leading to a cross to an open player in the box, but the shot sailed over the bar. The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the half, with Dripping Springs having the edge in possession but Jordan coming away with good chances as well.

Dripping Springs came out with relentless pressure to start the second half and Betancourt made multiple heroics to keep the Warriors in the game.

In the 50th minute Betancourt had a man clear on goal, but made a save diving to his left to keep things tied before a second shot was blasted over the bar. Then two minutes later the same thing happened, but again Betancourt stepped up, making a leg save before the ball was cleared.

Betancourt ended the night with seven saves, keeping the Warriors in it until the end.

“He’s had a big presence the whole season,” Meekins said. “There was times in our district when we weren’t the first team to have an opportunity and he would have to make the saves. He did that multiple times tonight, he’s just a guy back there that’s a rock for us. He makes the big saves and he does all the little things that help us do well”

Dripping Springs continued to dominate the second half and finally found the breakthrough in the 72nd minute, when Adam Knutson found the back of the net by redirecting a cross when he was open in the box.

Jordan nearly found the equalizer in the 75th minute with a header off a free kick, but it bounced of the bar and the Warriors again had a chance with just over a minute left in the game, but the Dripping Springs keeper came up with a huge save to secure the Tigers win.

“We battled,” Meekins said. “We came back and had opportunities to tie it. We kept battling blocking and putting our bodies on the line. At the end of the day that’s all you can ask your boys to do.”

Jordan will join an extremely talented District 19-6A next season, and they know playing in games and environments like a state semifinal will help prepare them for the challenge.

“We’re stepping into Katy ISD’s 6A district next year,” Meekins said. “Every game is going to be like one through nine. Every game is going to be a battle like that, so it’s great to play that type of game, it shows the guys that they can play in that type of game. Every game in district is going to be that or higher next year so it’s important for our kids to see that, they grew up a lot these entire playoffs.”

The loss stung for the Warriors, but they will get every member of their team back next year and the Warriors know they will do nothing but get better from here.

“We’ve already grown so much just this year,” Betancourt said. “We didn’t start great, but things eventually just licked for us and our chemistry now is just unbeatable. Getting here, playing in this is just going to make us more confident and prepare us for success next year.”

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