Fort Worth South Hills’ fifth consecutive appearance in the UIL girls soccer playoffs looks to be the most promising because of one player who is making her postseason debut.
Freshman Esmie Gonzales scored six goals and the District 13-4A champion Scorpions (18-4-3) pitched their 16th shutout of the season in a 7-0 Class 4A Region I bi-district victory over Fort Worth Polytechnic (4-15-2), the fourth-place qualifier out of District 14-4A, on Tuesday night at Clark Stadium.
Mayra Briones had another goal and an assist for South Hills, which will try to advance to the region quarterfinals for the first time in four attempts when it faces Stephenville in an area-round game at 6 p.m. Thursday at Farrington Field.
“We really want to make it far,” said Gonzales, who increased her season goal total to 77. “I’m trying to help as much as I can.”
She did more than her share against the Parrots, opening the scoring with 36:21 to play in the first half with a penalty kick sent into the back of the left side of the net after teammate Brenda Martinez was pushed down 18 yards out.
She scored twice more in the first half.
At the 9:55 mark, Briones sent the ball in off a corner kick that stayed on the ground.
Zusel Davila ran toward the ball as a decoy, letting it slide between her legs to a waiting Gonzales, who sent the ball into the goal.
A long ball that sneaked through the top of the goal put the Scorpions up 3-0 and in control with 6:32 left in the half.
Gonzales had other opportunities. She sent a ball over the goal on a good look mere yards away from the Poly goaltender midway through the second half.
A header off a pass from her sister, Sandra Gonzales, in the first half was covered.
The Scorpions’ season goal is now in front of them, a chance to advance further than they ever have.
“The girls were happy,” about the victory, said Jamie Southern, South Hills’ coach, “but the next game is the big game for us, and we have to be prepared for a quality opponent.”
Gonzales had goals at the 23:02 — assisted by Briones — 14:32 and 2:12 marks of the second half.
“That’s in the past,” Gonzales said of the team’s shortcomings in the area round. “This year is a new deal. We’ll play with our hearts in the second and third rounds. If we do that, yes, we can make it.”
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