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Strong showings at NEPS and GCISD

Host Keller Tonight

The Lady Vikings Soccer Program combined for a 4-2-0 record this past weekend outscoring opponents 14-6 between the varsity and JV teams.  The JV competed in the GCISD Invitational placing 6th overall out of 8 with a strong field of school from Southlake Carroll, Coppell, FM Marcus, Byron Nelson, Grapevine, Eaton, and Colleyville Heritage.  Vic Watson and Elena Ramirez each scored 2 goals in the event with Lili Martinez and Olivia Delvac each scoring one a piece.  A heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the opening match to Byron Nelson motivated them in their second match against Colleyville Heritage which they rebounded with a 6 goal, shutout over the Lady Panthers.  Matching-up against Southlake Carroll in the Consolation Final didn't go as expected going down early and just could not make up for goals conceded early.  The group looks forward to an opportunity to prove themselves once again this evening against another solid opponent as they host Keller High School at 5:30pm.  CLICK HERE to Watch LIVE.

The varsity continues to roll from their success in California at the Tri-Valley Classic in San Francisco over the break with an undefeated showing at the National Elite Prep Showcase presented by JATO Athletics going 3-0 with wins over national powerhouse teams from Florida and California, finishing up with a victory over Lubbock Coronado.  Two-time National Champion, Florida St. Thomas Aquinas rolled into town as the Lady Vikings opening opponent.  Junior, Mya Ulloa started the scoring in the 9th minute of play off a combination between Avery Hutka, Laci Earixson, and Abby Geiser.  In the 27th minute, Ulloa converted on a PK to double the Lady Viking lead.  Just before half the lead was cut in half by a quality goal by St. Thomas making the break a bit more stressful.

Head coach, Jay Fitzgerald said, "With such a strong start it was a bit of a let down to concede late in the half."

The Lady Vikings knew what they had to do and another strong start to the half was what they needed and what they got.  Freshman, Avery Hutka increased the LVS lead to 2 again off a corner from Rachel Firestone.  "If you are going to beat one of the best teams in the country, you have to be able to respond and that is what we did, " said Fitzgerald.

The event continued on Day 2 and the opponent didn't get any easier.  Steele Canyon rattled off 12 goals in their first 2 games of the event.  The San Diego high school was cruising as one of the most dynamic attacking teams of the event.

The Lady Vikings were well prepare and riding huge momentum coming off their Aquinas win the evening before and knew that the game plan and preparation must be clear in order to have success in game two.  It was Ulloa again striking first off a first time smash from Maddie Caffey.  That was all that was needed to keep the massive momentum they gained from day one.  "We needed to score first in order to set the tone and when we did, we were not going to give up anything.  I just felt it, " commented Fitzgerald.  Steele Canyon mounted  some quality possession but the Lady Vikings were able to break that rhythm with some really nice responses in possession on their own.  That gritty performance got the Lady Vikings their second win of the showcase.

Now on to Day 3, the Lady Vikings knew the first 2 matches of the event would mean nothing without finishing out the final game.  Fitzgerald told the team before the match that "the true identity of our team will show up today."  Lubbock Coronado, a solid west Texas team with 2 wins of their own and the majority of their players on the same club team wanted that undefeated mark as well.

A shaky start at best saw the Lady Vikings sunder the gun and on their heals a bit during the beginning of the half until sophomore, Paola Vazquez was able to score a clutch goal to get on the board first.  That goal allowed LVS to breath a little bit.  Holding a 1-0 lead at the half, Hutka again was able to come through in the second half with a pair of goals to solidify the win and the undefeated mark in the 17th Annual National Elite Prep Showcase.

Fitzgerald on the weekend... "I am really proud of our group.  Starting with our freshman goalkeeper, Alle Steining, all the way through the middle of the park, we were solid.  You couple consistent, self-aware goalkeeper play with warriors through the spine of the team, that can get you some much deserved results.  Transition was key to going 3-0 on the weekend and clutch dynamic attacking play with our midfielders and wingers."

The National Elite Prep Showcase is in its 17th year hosting one of the top high school girls showcases in the county.  This year FAB 50 No. 3 Southlake Carroll (Texas), No. 36 Byron Nelson (Texas), No. 40 Carondelet (Calif.), No. 46 Ursuline Academy (Texas), regionally ranked Nolan Catholic (Texas), regionally ranked Harvard-Westlake (Calif.), Plano West (Texas) and Liberty (Calif.) finished the weekend undefeated. Teams played either three or four matches during the three-day event. No team went 4-0, Nolan Catholic went 3-0, Southlake Carroll and Plano West went 3-0-1 and Harvard-Westlake was 2-0-2.

The Lady Vikings return home tonight to host Keller High School with a JV/Varsity double header starting at 5:30pm.  Both games will be broadcast live.  The varsity match will begin around 7:15pm. CLICK HERE to Watch LIVE.

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