HARLINGEN — Jacqi Caballero, Odalys De La Fuente and Clarissa Garza all got on the board for the La Feria Lionettes as they took control of the game with an early goal to defeat EdinburgIDEA Quest 3-0 in their Class 4A bi-district playoff match Saturday morning at Boggus Stadium.
Caballero opened the scoring in the first half and Garza sealed the victory with a second-half goal to set up an area-round date with Rockport-Fulton on Friday in Alice at 5 p.m. The Lady Pirates defeated Somerset in their bi-district contest.
“We’re getting there. We still need to work on some things but the girls are understanding their positions more and what they need to do,” said La Feria head coach Angelica Carmona.
Defensively the Lionettes withstood some late charges from the Trail Blazers in the second half. However, Jasmine Lara, Cleo Rodriguez and goalkeeper Nina Lazaro kept the clean sheet intact for La Feria.
Throughout the regular season, the Lionettes’ defense was a vital component to the team’s successful 2017 campaign. One in which the Lionettes went 11-1 in district action, winning the league championship in the process.
More impressively, La Feria’s defense has only allowed two goals since their 2-1 loss to Port Isabel on Feb. 3.
“It’s because of the defense that we’ve been able to win,” said Carmona. “They communicate really well with my goalie and they are the reason we only gave up two goals all district season.”
After De La Fuente put the Lionettes up 2-0 midway through the first half after scoring from inside the box, Garza started the second half with a goal of her own. The junior found some room inside the box and scored the third goal for La Feria.
“Clarissa has been doing well and is one of our captains, and is always motivating the girls,” said Carmona. “She encourages them and taking the initiative to teach them.”
The win was La Feria’s fourth consecutive bi-district win, however no Lionettes team has ever won an area game. Nevertheless, Carmona is optimistic about their chances.
“We’ve had chances (to score), but we just need to be collaborating with each other more because every team is beatable,” she said. “We just need to stay together, stay positive and play as a team.”