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Lady Rattlers get rematch with McHi
In terms of dominating District 30-5A, no one is doing a better job than the Sharyland girls. Scoring 42 goals while only giving up four the entire district season, JJ Lopez's team is wreaking havoc. In fact, entering district play, the team's goal was to compete well and then finish well. Ten games in with only two remaining, the Rattlers are closing in on a district championship.
Unfortunately, there was one hiccup up earlier in the year: the McHi Lady Bulldogs.
That's right, the Rattlers have one hurdle in their way and it comes to campus tonight at 8 p.m.
Though the squad has put a hurt on the rest on its foes, the Bulldogs were the one team to come away with a win when they took down JJ Lopez's squad 1-0 about a month ago.
“The girls learned a lot from the first game,” says Lopez. “I am expecting them to be a lot better prepared [tonight].”
It won't be easy. The Bulldogs are a solid team that plays intense defense. Shutting out an offense like Sharyland's that averages over four goals a game, says a lot. In addition, the team has given up just three goals in district play.
There are a couple of things which will help the Lady Rattlers this time around. For one, the team will be at home.
“We always feel more comfortable at home,” explains Lopez. “Having the familiar surroundings [helps]. My athletes feel they are defending their home territory.”
Second, Lopez will be counting on his whole team to step up, but specifically three players, two of which are freshmen. Daniela Cantu and Kassie De La Garza provide hard play, while Blanca “Makis” Gomez leads the team in goals.
Sharyland (9-1) is currently one point behind McHi (9-0-1, lost in shootout) and must win in regulation if the squad wants sole ownership of the district title—pending a season finale win over La Joya. A win in a shootout will even the two teams as co-champs.
Lopez is excited to see how his team adjusts to McHi. Since that game, the coach has been pleased to see his squad “work well together to exploit defenses.”
A win tonight, added to a victory over winless La Joya on Tuesday, will give the team a district title as well as momentum entering bi-district. Having the momentum will be key as Lopez wants his team to finally get past the area round after falling to Harlingen South the past three seasons.
Tonight's rematch will show Lopez if his team is up for the challenge. It is all on the line tonight versus McHi.
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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.