PALESTINE — After starting off the 16th Annual Great East Texas Shootout with a tie and a loss, Jacksonville head girls soccer coach Colten McCown was looking for consistency and continuity from his team on Friday and Saturday.
The Fightin' Maidens answered the bell by beating Abilene Wylie 1-0 on Friday night and closing out its run in Palestine with a 6-1 rout over Quinlan Ford on Saturday.
The Fightin Maidens will carry a 3-1-1 record into the Pine Tree Tournament — Jacksonville will face Sulphur Springs at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The Fightin' Maidens are having to replace the loss of four key seniors from last year's team; three of which are playing collegiatly now.
On top of that, Jacksonville suffered a couple of injuries early on in the tournament, which forced some players to have to play in new positions.
McCown told his team before the Wylie match that it was important for the Maidens to settle into a groove, and that he wanted the starters to play as many minutes as possible to get used to playing in a competitive setting and that little substituting would be done.
The Fightin' Maidens and the Lady Bulldogs (1-2) went into intermission scoreless, but despite that fact, McCown said he saw some good things in the first 35 minutes of play.
“That was a good half of soccer,” he told his girls at the break. “That looked like Jacksonville soccer.”
Jacksonville had 10 shots (four on goal) compared to Wylie's six shots (two on goal) in the first half.
Sophomore Michelle Medellin of Jacksonville scored the only goal of the match when she launched a shot from 20 yards out on the left side, that went over the head of a leaping Lady Bulldog keeper and into the back of the net.
The score came with 9:09 to play in the contest.
Jacksonville came out in the second half determined to work the ball around to Medellin on the left side after attacking mostly from the right side in the first half.
Fightin' Maiden keeper Kelsy Traylor, a senior, earned the clean sheet for Jacksonville. Traylor had eight saves in the match.