Jacksonville freshman Mia Zidan has been playing since she was three years old.
All that experience paid big dividends for the Jacksonville Fightin' Maidens as the Blue and White edged Palestine, 1-0, in a District 35-4A match that was played at Tomato Bowl Friday evening.
The only score of the match came off of the foot of Zidan.
With 18:41 to go in the contest, Zidan took a pass on the right flank, lofted it to perfection and deposited on the top shelf, front left corner of the goal, just above the outstretched arms of the Lady Wildcat keeper.
Zidan's shot was from about 22 yards out.
“I really just wanted to get a clean shot off,” Zidan said. “I guess I did get it up a little bit to where it (the ball) went in.”
Zidan is one of seven freshman on the Maiden varsity roster, with most of those 9th-graders having contributing roles on the team, that improved to 3-0 in conference with its latest win.
“I think its a little pressure when you are a freshman playing on varsity,” Zidan said. “But, once the match starts you just react instinctively and do what you have been trained to do and you don't think about anything else.”
Jacksonville, 4-5-1 overall, out shot Palestine 12-7.
Maiden head coach Kiff Wiemers challenged his team at halftime to come out more aggressive in the final half and to play 40-solid minutes of soccer, and the team seemed to answer Wiemers' request.
“It's a relief to get this one behind us,” Wiemers said. “I thought we were too passive in the first half. If we would have played with the intensity that we had in the second half for the entire match I would’ve been more pleased, but it is good to be atop the district standings, no question.”
Jacksonville will journey to Lufkin Hudson on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. match.