The Pace Lady Vikings figured prominently in helping the West team win Tuesday’s girls all-star soccer game at Hanna.
The event was presented by the Brownsville Futbol website with free admission. It attracted a near-capacity crowd in the stands, with many others standing along the fence.
It was an all-Brownsville competition for seniors with Rivera, Porter and Lopez comprising the East team. The West squad was comprised of players from Brownsville Veterans Memorial, Hanna and Pace.
It was a sweep for the West teams as the West boys won the nightcap 1-0.
The girls match went to penalty kicks tied at 1 after 70 minutes of regulation.
Once in PKs, West goalkeeper Valeria Perez of Hanna stopped the first attempt by the East. Each team had three players taking penalties, and the West ended up winning the PKs 3-2 to take the match by an official score of 2-1.
Pace’s Marcy Garza scored the game-winning PK for the West. She soft-touched her shot into the left corner of the net to make it 3-2.
“I knew where I wanted to place my shot,” said Garza, who has signed to play soccer at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “There was a lot of pressure on that last PK try because it determined whether we would win or the PKs would keep going. I wanted to do the best that I could.”
Pace’s Alexis Guajardo, who gave the West a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the match on a close-range goal, also scored her team’s first goal in PKs. She was named the game’s MVP.
“It was super fun to play in this game, especially since a lot of us have known each other a long time and played together before,” said Guajardo, who has signed to play soccer at Southwestern University. “To have this game and have all the (senior) soccer girls of Brownsville together, it was really fun.”
Brownsville Veterans’ Hannah Obregon also converted a PK for the West.
“Honestly, it felt really great (to score),” Obregon said. “I was playing with some girls that I had played with in an outside league before, so it felt very good. I was proud that they had my back, and they were cheering for me when I made that PK.”
Angelina Castillo scored for the East on a slow roller to even the match at 1 nine minutes into the second half after the West led 1-0 at halftime.
Scoring for the East during the PKs were Porter’s Quetzali Cortez and Lopez’s Corina Garcia.
The boys match appeared to be headed to PKs as well. But Hanna’s Kevin Ochoa came up with a crossing shot from the right side that found the mark with 16 minutes remaining to lift the West.
“I was just thinking about scoring and giving my team the win,” Ochoa said of his game-winning shot that carried past the goalkeeper, whose arms were outstretched trying to stop the ball. “It was a great experience playing in this game. We tried to give everyone a good show.
“This feels good (to win),” he added. “All the team worked hard, and I feel we deserve it. I thank all the people who came to support us. This is our last high school game, and we appreciate all the support for Brownsville ISD.”
It was an intense match as the East boys had a player red-carded.
The organizers hope to make the all-star games an annual event.