Lady Hawks rout Vela 6-1 behind Velazquez hat trick

HARLINGEN — Emily Velazquez scored three goals, Mallory Grannum added two and Clarissa Gonzalez scored one as the Harlingen South Lady Hawks rolled past the Edinburg Vela Lady SaberCats 6-1 in their Class 6A bi-district match Friday night at Boggus Stadium.

The Lady Hawks will play San Antonio Southwest in the area round on Friday at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi at a time to be determined.

“I think what happened is that we jumped on them early,” said Harlingen South head coach Omar Pedroza. “It was big because sometimes we struggle to score and the longer we take to score the more pressure we put on ourselves.

“Once we scored quickly everything clicked and our passes were better. Edinburg (Vela) is young so they are going to be a good team.”

From the opening whistle, Harlingen South went on the offensive and got on the board within seconds.

Mallory Grannum took an assist and outran the Lady SaberCats’ back line to notch her first goal of the night.

It wasn’t until 18 minutes later that the Lady Hawks got another goal from a long distance screamer from Emily Velazquez. The senior picked her head up and ripped a shot from 25 yards out to put the Hawks up 2-0 with 22 minutes remaining before the half.

That’s when the floodgates opened as the Lady Hawks scored three more unanswered goals within a four-minute time span.

For Edinburg Vela, it wasn’t the result it was hoping for, but a year after missing the playoffs by one point Lady SaberCats head coach Tonya Bailey-Garcia was just happy to still be playing.

“I think initially we were shocked by the wind and we were shocked by Harlingen South’s speed,” she said. “Harlingen South has a lot of speed and height, and that, accompanied by the wind, presented more of a challenge for us.

“Overall, we’re pleased to make it this far since we are new to the district.”

Despite being down 5-0, the Lady SaberCats came out in the second half and got a score from Lucia Valdez, who found herself in front of the net to score Edinburg Vela’s only goal of the night.

“One thing I admire about my girls is that they did not give up and they got it together, and came back out in the second half,” said Bailey-Garcia. “Cherylen Chavez had 26 district goals and she was single handedly the primary source of our offense, and was incredible all year long.”