The Jacksonville Maidens soccer team is in second place in district competition after defeating Lindale 1-0 at the Tomato Bowl Friday night.

Samantha Melchor scored the winning goal in the second half off an assist from Magen Lovelady after Lovelady took a throw-in from Luz Trujillo and played it into the middle to Melchor, who shot from 20 yards out. The shot caught the Lindale goalie off her line as it found the upper right hand corner of the goal.

The Maidens, playing “great team soccer,” according to head coach Howard Story, dominated possession in the first half and defensively held strong against the late challenges by Lindale. “Lindale definitely has speed, but the Maidens played a very disciplined game, supporting each other and moving well off the ball,” Story said. “I am very proud of all the girls. They played with a lot of heart.”

One of Lindale’s shots in the second half bounced twice along the cross-bar of the goal before falling in front. Meredith Higginbotham quickly ushered the ball out as Lindale attackers rushed in.

Lindsey Sanders had two saves in the second half to preserve the Maiden victory.

Brittany Villanueva, though injured, had one of her best games of the season and stymied the Lindale attack. Story also noted that sophomore Carly Irby is coming into her own after a timid start as a freshman.

“She is playing very well defensively and offensively,” Story said. “She is not afraid to get physical.”

But it is the play of the mid-fielder’s, Camille Remington, Magen Lovelady, and Samantha Melchor, that Story points to that helps the Maidens control their games.

“Now we will see how we match up with district leader Whitehouse when we meet Tuesday in Whitehouse,” Story said. “If we are patient and disciplined, we will do well.”

The JHS Maidens junior varsity lost their game 2-0 after not capitalizing on several opportunities. Even though they lost, head coach Jeremy Stewart was pleased with how they played.

He noted the play of Laura Mena, Ruth Montes, Jessica Torres as well as Marcela Rodezno who played goalie for her first time. Like the varsity, the junior varsity has suffered set backs with injured players as well as ineligible players, but have “played with a lot of heart,” a Maiden trademark. The most recent injury was to the JV goalie, Karla Salas with a possible broken fibula. The Maiden junior varsity will also be in Whitehouse on Tuesday for their next match.

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