Monday, March 25, 2019
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20160202 Soccer Girls VMHS vs SHS LG-27Last year, the Sharyland Lady Rattlers and the Pioneer Lady Diamondbacks soccer teams were each one playoff win away from advancing into the Region IV 5A finals. Had the Lady Rattlers defeated Cedar Park and had the Lady Diamondbacks defeated Austin Vandegrift, the fifth round playoff game would’ve showcased the two Sharyland teams going head-to-head for the right to advance into the state tournament semifinals, otherwise known as the state’s Final Four.

Unfortunately, the much anticipated match-up between the two Sharyland sister schools never took place. The Lady Rattlers suffered a 2-0 loss to the Lady Timberwolves and the Lady Diamondbacks lost 1-0 to the Lady Vipers in the Regional Semifinals.

Ten months and two days later, the playoff match-up that never was, will finally be taking place. And while it will not be in a playoff scenario, there certainly will be playoff implications as the 3-0 Lady Rattlers host the 4-0 Lady Diamondbacks tonight at Sharyland’s Richard Thompson Stadium.

As the two top teams in District 31-5A last season, the 12-0 Lady Rattlers and the 10-2 Lady Diamondbacks swept all their district competitors not from Sharyland. With their only two losses coming at the hands of the Lady Rattlers, the Lady Diamondbacks had an extremely successful inaugural season. And with both teams coming into tonight’s game undefeated, the victor will be sure to have the inside track to this year’s district title.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Lady Diamondbacks have outscored their opponents 19-1. Their most recent victims, the Veterans Memorial Lady Patriots, who they defeated 5-1 Tuesday night, are the only team to find the back of their net with a ball since district play started. In that game, sophomore forward Andrea Reyes scored three goals to raise her season total to 8.

After the game, Reyes shared how much she and her teammates have been anticipating their first opportunity to play the Lady Rattlers this year.

“I think that the whole team has been counting down the days until this game,” Reyes said. “It’s going to take all of us being on our A-game and all of us to keep playing the way we’ve been playing to beat Sharyland. One of our goals this year is to take the district championship and winning this game is going to go a long way towards helping us achieve that goal.”

Lady Diamondbacks’ sophomore midfielder Nikki Cuellar scored her fourth goal of the district season against the Lady Patriots Tuesday night. When asked what she believed it would take to turn the tables on the Lady Rattlers by defeating them tonight, Cuellar said, “We’re going to have to all play together and be on our best game. Also, we cannot let ourselves be intimidated by them. We have great team chemistry and that’s what has allowed us to do as well as we have in just our second year.”

Overall the Lady Diamondbacks are 11-1 this season with their only loss coming to Katy Seven Lakes which is in the Houston area. Among their preseason achievements was bettering the field at the Laredo Border Olympics Soccer Tournament to earn the championship.

As for the Lady Rattlers, they are 9-2 overall this season, having outscored their three district opponents thus far this season by an impressive margin of 21-3. That includes their 11-1 Tuesday night victory over the Roma Lady Gladiators. In their first round matchup last year the Lady Rattlers defeated the Lady Diamondbacks 3-1. In their second round matchup Sharyland shut out Pioneer by a score of 3-0.

Tonight’s game is part of a Pioneer vs Sharyland girls/boys doubleheader with the girls’ game scheduled to start at 6 and the boys’ game scheduled to start at 7:30.