When the six Lady Yellow Jacket seniors arrived at the high school, they were welcomed to the soccer field with what turned out to be a winless season.

When the six Lady Yellow Jacket seniors arrived at the high school, they were welcomed to the soccer field with what turned out to be a winless season.


Look at just how far they’ve come.


"I think it shows hard work can make you go a long way and teamwork too," Miranda Poe said. "For it to finally pay off after four years…we’re proving people wrong."


The opportunity to be a part of the postseason comes tonight as Denison (7-12-3) faces Frisco (20-2) in a Class 4A Region II bi-district match at 6 p.m. tonight at Bearcat Stadium in Sherman.


"There is a big change and it’s very positive and we hope it can continue in the future," Lady Jackets head coach Joe Horn said. "I’m very happy for this group, and the seniors, to get a chance to experience the playoffs."


It is just the second time in program history that the Lady Jackets advanced to the playoffs, equaling the 2008 squad’s bi-district appearance.


"We had a lot of confidence going into this year. During preseason we realized playoffs were real, that we had a chance to go," Zoe Reed said. "It wasn’t just a dream. Now it was a goal. The attitude from last year had changed."


The Lady Jackets won more games this season than any year since its last playoff appearance. In fact, the seven victories almost equal the nine victories for the program from 2010-13.


"Our leadership that the seniors have put in with everyone else, we knew we had to work hard," Angela Moreno said.


Denison was on the verge of the playoffs last spring — despite just a pair of victories — but came up one point short as Anna leapfrogged the Lady Jackets for fourth place. Denison went into its last match against the Lady Coyotes knowing they needed a victory to advance.


"I don’t think they had that much of a killer instinct last year," Horn said. "There was still some of that old negativity and we were young experience-wise and leadership-wise."


The lesson was learned. This season Denison beat Anna twice and also came up with a tie against Sherman.


"When we lost it put a fire under our butts to be better," Poe said.


It has been a balanced attack from the Lady Jacket offense. Zoie Voight, who returned for her senior year after an injury sidetracked her last season, leads with nine goals but Angel O’Brien and Stephanie Macedo each have four goals apiece and Harley Goodin is right behind with three goals. Both O’Brien and Maria Jaimes have a team-best four assists.


A better effort defensively has also helped the Lady Jackets get to this point. Despite rotating between three keepers — Erin Armstrong, Ashley Wood and Sarah McBride — the lopsided scores of previous seasons have been kept to a minimum and given Denison a chance to get to the playoffs.


"It’s progressed not just with us winning, which is always good, but against the harder teams the scores are closer," Horn said.


Frisco, which lost in the area round to state semi-finalist Highland Park last spring, captured the 18-4A title by losing just once in district play, a 2-1 defeat against runner-up Frisco Wakeland. The only other team to beat the Lady Raccoons this season is Sachse, a 5A team that is 19-2, and it was a 5-4 decision in the fourth match of the season.


Jordan Hill has scored 34 goals to go with 13 assists while Blair Thorpe is next with 15 goals and 25 assists, Taylor Torres also has scored 15 times with eight assists and Maddie Barnes is at 13 goals and seven assists.


The Lady Raccoons have excelled defensively as well with 13 of their victories coming by shutout.


"They have some speed at forward and on the outside. They’re technical. Their defense is every solid. They don’t give up a lot of opportunities," Horn said. "It’s a team I think we can match up with if we play a really good game."