With resounding victories Tuesday, both the Palestine boys and girls soccer teams are on the verge of prime playoff positioning depending on what happens in their season finales Friday.
Both the Wildcats and Ladycats rolled past Center Tuesday, 5-0. With their win, the Wildcats maintained their tie with Nacogdoches for the top spot in District 35-4A.
With a victory at home over Diboll Friday, the Palestine boys’ can do no worse than tie the Dragons for first place in the district. If that happens, the teams will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday for a tiebreaker game.
But a win by either Palestine or Nacogdoches and a draw or loss by the other secures the title for the winning team.
In the boys’ win Tuesday, UT-Tyler bound Kaleb Garcia scored four times. On his opener, Adrian Rodriguez found Garcia on a long through ball that Garcia finished.
On his second, he flicked a long throw-in from Alec Meyers into the goal, and added his final two goals on assists from Alonso Cruz and then Cass French.
Brandon Fierro also found the back of the net, converting a long Meyers’ throw-in for a goal.
Jose Cabrera and Bennett Geirkey split time in goal the preserve the shutout for Palestine.
On the girls’ side, the Ladycats get into the playoffs with either a win or a draw with Diboll, but a win secures second place for the Ladycats.
Nidia Umanzor opened the Palestine scoring on Tuesday with two goals, both coming about thanks to Xochitl Zavala.
The first came when Umanzor got a rebound of a deflected shot on goal from Zavala and found the back of the net, then the second came courtesy of a long cross into the box from Zavala.
Zavala then found Gabby Meyers on a through ball to make it 3-09, before Alyssa Claytor found Vanesa Giron for the fourth goal.
Zavala capped the rout with one-touch goal to make it 5-0.
Like the boys’ team, goalkeepers Destiny Harding and Amber Gonzales split time in goal for the shutout.
Games Friday kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the girls taking on Diboll, followed by the boys’ game at around 7:30 p.m. Both are at Wildcat Stadium.