By BRYAN URBACH
The Palestine Ladycats soccer team has won district with sole possession for the first time.
Coming into Tuesday night’s game, the Ladycats needed Nacogdoches to lose to claim first place in the district, and they did just that.
It was announced at halftime, and the Ladycats could be heard screaming with joy when they found out.
To cap off their district season, the Ladycats started off their game against Diboll with a bang as Mackenzie Calloway had two strong finishes to score the first two goals of the 8-0 victory against the Lady Jacks.
Calloway’s goal was followed by four more goals in the half to bring the halftime score to 6-0 with Palestine’s role players starting to come into the game to get some minutes.
“With all of the adversity that we went through this season, it’s amazing to get this district title,” said Palestine coach John Absalom. “Other kids off the bench stepped up for us during the run when kids went down with injuries. This group has worked hard to be here. We had some losses early on, but we regrouped and I’m just very proud of them for being district champs.”
In the second half, Palestine came out and scored two more goals to put the game even further out of reach.
Palestine’s Astrid Sandoval also had two goals on the night to tie Calloway for the team lead.
“We came ready to play on senior night,” Absalom said. “It was our last home game, and you always want to start out and jump on top of people, that way you get some kids off the field that are battling some injuries. Also, it helps get a lot of the younger kids in there to get some playing time. You get that quick goal and it takes a lot of the pressure off.
“We have a solid defense, too,” he added. “We only gave up six goals in district, which is 10 games. That’s pretty good defense right there if you can do that.”
Palestine (VB) 2, Diboll 1
The Palestine boys also played on Tuesday night and had a solid 2-1 win against the Lumberjacks.
The goals for Palestine were scored by Adrian Rodriguez, who blew past a Diboll defender and held him off as he tried to get back into position and then Rodriguez drilled a shot past the keeper for the goal, and Brandon Fierro who scored on a penalty kick with 9:07 left in the match.
The Wildcats gave up only one goal on an otherwise strong defensive night including goalkeeper Bennett Gierkey’s performance.