Lady Panthers Cruise in Playoff Opener

By Sam Weiger / Contributor

MESQUITE — Employing their exceptional chemistry and mastery of ball possession, the Hillcrest girls delivered a stellar performance in their soccer playoff opener.

Following the Lady Panthers’ decisive 5-0 victory over West Mesquite on Tuesday at Mesquite Memorial Stadium, they raised their Class 5A Region II bi-district trophy in celebration.

“Our team knew there were some things we needed to get fixed, but they did it and the scoreboard shows it,” said Hillcrest head coach Jorge Acosta. “They gave everything they had and didn’t stop.”

The Lady Panthers (16-3-2) scored their first goal just 12 minutes into the game, when sophomore Kamrynn Martinez skillfully maneuvered past defenders. Alyssah Martinez extended the lead later in the first half with a superbly executed follow-up to her initial corner kick, curling the ball into the net.

The Lady Wranglers (8-10-3) struggled to find rhythm against Hillcrest’s formidable defense throughout the game.

Capitalizing on turnovers, Hillcrest efficiently directed the ball to Kamrynn Martinez and Leslie Razo, who

tallied two goals apiece, amassing a total of 11 shots between them. Their give-and-go tactics effectively dismantled West Mesquite’s defense, underscoring the team’s cohesion.

“The group that I had from previous years is getting along with the other girls,” Acosta said.  “The chemistry they showed today has been a work in process that has been coming along for years.”

Hillcrest, which won the District 11-5A title during the regular season, will face Frisco Reedy (16-4-3) in the area round later this week.

Meanwhile, the Hillcrest boys encountered a starkly different outcome in the second half of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The Panthers (8-9-1) suffered an 8-0 defeat against an unyielding West Mesquite team.

Outshot 34-5 by the Wranglers (18-4-1), the Panthers faced relentless pressure, with 21 of the Wranglers’ attempts finding their mark on goal.

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