PSJA Memorial wins Heart of the Valley tourney

BY RAUL GARCIA

STAFF WRITER

DONNA — PSJA Memorial defeated Edinburg High 2-0 to capture the gold cup trophy at the first Heart of the Valley Boys Soccer Tournament championship Saturday at Bennie La Prade Stadium.

“ It was a pleasant surprise for us since we are in the process of building a new identity for the team since we lost a lot of guys from last year,” PSJA Memorial head coach Alejandro Cruz said. “This year is basically a new team that I am coaching right now.”

PSJA Memorial senior Diego Hernandez scored both goals in the first period to lift the Wolverines to victory.

The championship match was a fierce battle between speedy forwards on both sides of the ball and strong defenders as both the Wolverines and the Bobcats were unable to score in the second period.

“ It was a tough game, but we fought through it and it feels great bringing the trophy home,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he capitalized off an Edinburg High mistake around the right corner of the field near their goal to slip in his first of two scores.

The second goal came off an assist from teammate Robert Balderrama over the top to Hernandez to chip in their final point.

Hernandez is a first-year member of the Wolverines team.

“He showed up this year and he wanted to join us and he’s done extremely well,” Cruz said. “The team has accepted him as a team leader.”

PSJA Memorial completed the Heart of the Valley Tournament 6-0-1, tying Donna North on the final day of pool competition. Memorial’s overall record is now 11-1-1.

PSJA Memorial shut out McAllen High 2-0 and Hidalgo 6-0 on Thursday and on Friday only gave up two goals in two games against, Mercedes 6-1 and San Benito 3-1 en route to the title.

“ The championship match was the toughest game since it was for all the marbles like they say,” Cruz said.

The Heart of the Valley Boys Soccer Tournament pitted 12 teams during a three-day competition.

rgarcia@themonitor.com