Melissa’s boys and girls soccer teams swept to wins on Feb. 18 in District 9-4A action at Bonham. The Lady Cards’ 4-0 victory left them alone atop District 9-4A with a 3-0 record while the Cards’ 2-0 win improved their district mark to 1-2.
For the girls, Briley Bowen booted home the first goal two minutes into their match off of Payton Wallace’s deflected try. The second goal came after a free kick by Reagan Eichel bounced off several girls and back to Eichel, who then pushed it home for a 2-0 halftime lead.
Ten minutes into the second half, Hanna Waters connected on a long-range shot past the Warriors’ goalie for a 3-0 advantage. Out on the wing, Macie Robertson scored the Melissa’s final goal with nine minutes left to play. All told, the Lady Cards took 47 shots - including 25 in the first half - with 30 on-goal.
Goalkeeper Brittany Morgan went the whole way for Melissa.
“Tonight we had a very good performance,” Lady Cards head coach Manuel Avila said. “We moved the ball as well as we have all year and created several great chances. More importantly, we saw lots of our young players get quality minutes on the field as we continue to gain in experience.”
For the boys, two point-blank diving saves by goalkeeper Winston Chawira in the second half seemed to turn tide for Melissa as Luke Hansen followed with two late goals for the win. The first came off a ricochet with five minutes left to play, as Hansen got the ball back through a pack of players near the net. He came back four minutes later, scoring on a break out off a pass from Chris Perez.
All told, Chawira logged seven saves as the Warriors tried 11 shots total. Melissa took 18 shots, with 11 on-goal.
“Tonight was the night we have been waiting for,” Cards head coach Kelley Pitzer said. “We finally played a complete game with solid defense and produced the goals we have needed. The defense has been there night-in and night-out, but we got the offensive production we desperately needed. We felt like we were the better team tonight and finally found a way to finish. A great three [district] points tonight. You could see a weight lifted off the boys. Hopefully, we can build on that versus Gainesville.”
At Gainesville on Friday, Melissa’s Lady Cardinals eased by the Lady Leopards, 1-0, boosting their record to a 4-0 at the midpoint of the district race. Gainesville’s district mark fell to 0-2-1, one point ahead of last-place Bonham. On the boys’ side, the Leopards prevailed over Melissa, 3-0, sending the Cards’ record to a fourth-place 1-3-0, two points up on Bonham.