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After defeating the Valley View Lady Tigers in the sectional round of the soccer playoffs last Friday night, the Mission High Lady Eagles’ season came to an end at the hands of the Beeville Lady Trojans Tuesday evening in the Region IV-4A quarterfinals. The final score was 1-0.
In the first game of a Mission High versus Valley View High soccer doubleheader at Tom Landry Stadium Friday, the Lady Tigers and the Lady Eagles seemed to be destined to battle it out for the right to advance to the regional quarterfinals. As the game between the two undefeated district, bi-district and area champions progressed, how closely matched the two teams were became increasingly apparent.
After having scouted Valley View in their area round game against Rio Grande, Lady Eagles’ head coach Aaron Clemons knew that if his girls were to emerge victorious they would have to eliminate, or at least minimize, their free kick opportunities.
“The thing that I was worried about was the fact that we gave them some free kicks with penalties,” said Clemons. “After watching them against Rio, they converted two out of four free kicks so I was concerned when we did give up a few, but luckily, Mother Nature was at hand and the Good Lord… shifted the wind and the balls didn’t go in.”
After a scoreless first half in which all of the Lady Eagles’ shots at the opposing goal were either high, wide or stopped by Lady Tigers’ defenders, it was Mission sophomore Angie Briones who scored the only goal of the match with 8:11 to play in regulation. Briones’ game winning goal was set up by a well-placed corner kick from Stephanie Barbosa.
“Corner kicks are one thing that we focus on a lot,” said Briones. “Everybody knows where to move as a team so we don’t even have to look because we already know where we all are. Stephanie trusted that I would be there and I was there so while I did score the goal I couldn’t have done it alone. There were people in my way so I hit it in mid-air with some effect on it and it went into the corner of the goal.”
With the win the Lady Eagles not only tied for the furthest they have ever gone in the playoffs but they also earned the right to move on to the regional quarterfinal round of the playoffs against Beeville.
In the second game of last Friday’s futbol doubleheader, it was Coach Christos Barouhas’ 9-2 Eagles going up against an undefeated and nationally ranked Tigers squad. After having had a bye in the bi-district round, then defeating the Hidalgo Pirates 3-0 in the area round, Mission came up short against Valley View by a seemingly lopsided score of 6-2. The match, however, was much closer than the final score indicated.
With Valley View scoring three of its goals in the final 11 minutes of the first half and with Mission’s inability to get anything past the Tigers’ keeper in the first 40 minutes of play, the Eagles found themselves in the unenviable position of having to overcome a three goal deficit against one of the top teams in the state with only 40 minutes left on the clock.
Much to the credit of Barouhas’ squad, the Eagles came out of the intermission fighting and quickly closed the gap to 3-2 to get the hometown fans on their feet and cheering for what was starting to look like a possible storybook ending.
However, a slip by Mission’s keeper on a throw-in was all it would take for an opportunistic Valley View squad to regain the momentum when they took control of the ball deep into Mission’s territory and scored their fourth goal of the game with just over 11 minutes to go. Up against a two-point deficit with just minutes left on the clock, the Eagles’ defense broke down and allowed the Tigers to score twice in the final 70 seconds of the game to make the final score 6-2, Valley View.
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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.