McALLEN — Five minutes into Friday’s District 30-6A battle between McAllen High and La Joya Juarez-Lincoln, Westyn Henderson scored, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead en route to a 4-1 victory over the Huskies at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The win improved McHi’s season total to 35 points, one ahead of McAllen Memorial with one game remaining for both teams. McHi still has PSJA North to play while Memorial still has city rival McAllen Rowe.
“We came into this game well prepared,” Henderson said. “We knew that this game was going to be tough because they (Juarez-Lincoln) are such a good team and we had lost against them the first time we played.”
Melanie Saldaña scored McHi’s second goal of the half and the Bulldogs added a third goal with a penalty kick by Mallory Henderson with 7:06 remaining in the first half.
It was not until the second half that Juarez-Lincoln started playing high pressure offense, leading them to score one goal from about 18 yards out by Melanie Olivares.
“We saw that they started putting hard pressure on us in the second half,” McHi head coach Patrick Arney said. “So what we did is that we started to get smart offensively.”
Ava Alaniz scored the fourth goal for the Bulldogs with 32 minutes remaining in the contest.
With the win, Arney is excited for the next moves.
“The girls have been working really hard, we are so close to winning district for the fourth year in a row,” he said.
With the recent news of the University Scholastic League’s suspension of all high school sporting events due to the coronavirus, most soccer games will be moved to a later date, causing McHi to have a two-to-three week break before their final regular-season game against PSJA North (1-9-2).
“Most people are freaking out because they think with this break we will not be at the same momentum,” Henderson said. “But I think we are lucky because we have more time to practice and work on what we need to work on as a team to get us prepared for playoffs.”
Avery thinks differently. “I do not think we will perform as good as we normally do because of the long break, but my girls are excited since they get to practice more,” he said.