The field is narrowing down more and more as the postseason tournament for boys and girls soccer continues. Down to 16 teams each for the boys and girls 5A and 4A tournament, three Big Six schools have managed to remain in the hunt for a regional championship and perhaps more.
First, the Sharyland Lady Rattlers officially became the program’s most decorated team after they took down Edinburg North, 4-2, on Monday night. Though they have reached this point in the postseason before in 2005, they did not do it as district champions.
“I told the girls tonight that they had become the most successful team that Sharyland has ever had,” said Head Coach JJ Lopez, following the team’s win.
That unofficial title of being the most decorated team ever didn’t come easy for Shary as North put up a fight. Benefitting from two successful penalty kicks, the Lady Cougars went into the half tied at 2-2.
However, when Lady Rattler Daniela Cantu scored at the 2:48 mark of the second half, the victory was solidified. Cantu’s goal was the exclamation point of a half dominated by Sharyland.
The historic win came after an emotional 1-0 win over Harlingen South in the area round. Having lost to the Lady Hawks the past four tournaments—going back to 2008—it was a great breakthrough for a Lady Rattler team that has been dominant all year and committed to making this year a special year.
“We always like to use the previous seasons as an experience to learn from it.” Lopez said, “I felt the last two years that we’d lost to South we certainly had a good enough team to beat them. I think these girls knew that. Some of them had older sisters that have played here so they wanted to do not only for themselves but for previous groups that felt they have won and advanced to the next round.”
As for their male counterparts, Rev Hernandez’s squad has been here before—back in 2010—but this one must taste just as sweet after the Rattlers took down Brownsville Porter 2-0 behind the goals of Jose Salinas and Gilbert Alanis. Both goals were scored in the second half to pull away from a Porter team that was coming off last year’s successful run to the final four of the state tournament.
For the Juarez-Lincoln boys, they too are back to familiar territory that they conquered back in 2010. That team actually made it to the regional finals before falling to Dripping Springs, 3-0. This year they hope will be different after the Huskies easily took down Floresville, 4-1. Two goals were scored by Luis Guerra while Delber Rivera and Angel Quintero each scored one apiece.
The Lady Huskies, meanwhile, suffered a tough 1-0 decision to Pleasanton. Despite the tough season-ending loss, JJ Davila’s squad had a good postseason run after beating Valley View and Mercedes to reach the regional quarterfinal game. Ironically, all of the Lady Huskies’ three games ended in a score of 1-0.
Tonight, all three winning teams are in action, hoping to keep the memorable season going. The Sharyland girls have a noon appearance against MacArthur, 1-0 winners over Reagan.
For Lopez, the key for his team will be their health. Having since Monday to rest, the four day break should be good for the girls. However, the head coach knows he has his hands full.
“Anytime you go against teams from up there, they are going to be tough.”
The Shary boys will play at 6:30 p.m. against Northside Jay, 2-0 winners over Northside O’Connor on Tuesday night.
Both the boys and girls teams will play their games at the Sports Park in Brownsville.
Meanwhile, Juarez-Lincoln will be in Corpus Christi, playing at the Cabaniss Soccer Field at 4:30 p.m. to take on Alamo Heights.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.