Late Tuesday night, the varsity girls soccer team piled onto one another in celebratory fashion in response to their 3-1 victory over the Johnson Jaguars. A victory that cemented their place in the regional semifinals.
The team pounced early and often, frequently getting free kicks and corners as they set the tone from the start. Merely 90 seconds in, Kyra Falcone laced a shot that went just wide of the post. The shot showed the team that goals were on the way if they kept up their intensity.
After just eight minutes of play, Analisa Pompa sent in a cross from a corner kick that was deflected by the Johnson goalkeeper into the back of the net. A similar play occurred with 18 minutes left in the first half, except this time Ana Campa rose up and got a piece of the ball, with her head, that nudged it into the net, putting the girls up 2-0 with no signs of letting up. The third goal, that came 6 minutes into the second half, was also off of a corner. This time, however, the ball bounced around the box and was controlled and scored by forward Kyra Falcone.
While the goal scoring ability of this team often gets the headlines, the MVPs of the game were on the defensive side. Defenders Vanessa Lecocq, Neely Haby, and Mikayla Wallace were tasked with stopping a high powered Jaguars attack that was headed by senior Courtney Trimble, who had 34 goals in 24 games. They constantly stopped the speed of Trimble by throwing two or three defenders at her and making tough tackles outside of the box.
Behind them, goalkeeper Mary Cardone played perhaps her best game of the season as she saved 13(!) shots, and picked up any loose ball in, or near, her 6 yard box, in a spectacular performance.
The only goal for Johnson came with 23 minutes left in the contest.
Senior Vanessa Lecocq described the team effort that it took to slow down the Jags attack.
“Our [midfielders] put immediate pressure, with the defenders following up with support. We had each other’s backs the whole time,” Lecocq said.
They will need similar execution as they face 19-6-3(W-L-T) Del Rio in the regional semifinals in Brownsville Friday morning at 10 AM. The only thing that is known about Del Rio is that they have played six San Antonio schools this year, and have been outscored 7-13 in those six games. While that is promising, the playoffs often are unpredictable and those preseason games are no longer relevant.
This is the first time since 2012 that the girls soccer team has made the regional semis, and they have all of the makings to capitalize on this opportunity.