The Jacksonville High School Maidens soccer team improved to 4-1 in district play after beating Palestine 1-0 at the Tomato Bowl Tuesday night.

The Maidens, who are still without four of their varsity players due to injuries, played well despite the high pressure of the Palestine Lady Wildcats. The Maidens controlled the field of play for long periods of time thanks to the play of center mid-fielders Magen Lovelady and Samantha Melchor, while being backed up by defensive mid-fielder, Camille Remington.

“Though we are struggling in the scoring department, we are finding space to make runs into and creating more dangerous opportunities,” said Jacksonville head coach Howard Story.

One of the created opportunities resulted in a goal against Palestine when left mid-fielder, Luz Trujillo sent a beautiful cross to the back post and found right mid-fielder, Carly Irby cutting into the 6-yard box to usher the ball into the goal.

Palestine, desperate to find the equalizer, pushed the attack in the second half creating some tense moments for the Maidens. On one occasion, sophomore goalie Lindsay Sanders fought her way through a crowded box to tackle a ball at the feet of a Palestine attacker securing her fourth shutout of the district season, having allowed only two goals in district.

The Maidens face Lindale (4-1) Friday night in the Tomato Bowl in a showdown of two district playoff contenders.

The Maidens junior varsity came up short in a 1-0 loss to Palestine on an “own-goal” when a Maidens defender inadvertently kicked the ball into her own goal.

The Maidens, who played well, failed to capitalize on several good opportunities. Turning in strong performances were forward Ana Gonzalez, Jessica Torres and Ruth Montes, along with goalie Karla Salas.

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