Jacksonville’s 2-1 District 35-4A victory over Nacogdoches Friday night at Tomato Bowl could be categorized as a key win, as the Lady Dragons have owned the Maidens for the past five years now.
Equally as impressive, was play of a couple of the club's freshmen and that of a sophomore, also.
“For me as coach this is the first time in my six years here that we have beat Nacogdoches,” Jacksonville head girls soccer coach Kiff Wiemers said. “It sure feels good to get that monkey off our backs. I know some of older players feel the same way because we have struggled against Nacogdoches in the past. To be able to beat them to open district play is huge for this team.”
The Maidens fell behind early on the chilly evening, as the Lady Dragons got on the board first about 15:00 into the match.
About 10:00 afterwards, freshman Bea Romero made a perfect pass to set Rachel Stirneman up for a clean shot on goal and Stirneman took care of things from there and drilled the ball into the back of the net to tie the matcher, 1-1, at intermission.
Jacksonville then got what turned out to be the game winning goal off the foot of Mia Ziadan, who is also a freshman, with about nine minutes to go in the match, as the Maidens went up 2-1.
“When Mia scored that goal I was discussing with may assistant (coach) on on to send in for the penalty kicks in overtime,” Wiemers said. “We were glad that Mia took care of business so we could could avoid overtime.”
Wiemers said Jacksonville keeper Callie Reagan also had a standout evening by making several difficult saves, especially in the second half, against a talented Lady Dragon outfit.
The defensive standout, according to Wiemers, was sophomore Kim Cruz, who did a good job in keeping the balls away from Reagan.
“I think that it's important to note that we didn't back down when we fell behind, 1-0, early,” Wiemers said. “The young ladies fought back and refused to give up.”
The Maidens are on the road this week, with matches scheduled in Diboll on Tuesday and at Palestine on Friday.