The Melissa High School Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer teams took on Anna last Friday in the first installment of this season’s Highway 5 rivalry. Melissa hosts Argyle at home this Friday.
The Lady Cards opened the evening, and it was evident early on that Anna had a plan in place to create issues for Melissa; all the girls could muster were half-chances.
Almost midway through the first half, a driving run from Josie Monk led to a great opportunity for Emma Schaeffer, who was able to slip her shot into the corner for the opening goal. Moments later, Gill Stopinski looked to add to the lead, but Anna’s keeper was up to the task.
At what seemed more like a stalemate than anything, the halftime lead was 1-0. Out of the half, the Lady Cards struggled to gain possession, but when they finally did they took advantage.
A block shot turned into a corner which Josie Monk dumped into the mixer for someone to bring home. Erin Eichel managed to get on the end of the corner and flip it to Schaeffer, who finished it off to push the lead to two. The new few minutes were an onslaught on the Anna goal, but the Lady Cards simply could not turn up another goal.
Two was enough as the Lady Cardinals held on for a 2-0 win.
The Cardinals game against Anna followed and offered much of the same. Ten minutes in, Dane Hansen sent a centering ball ahead to Jose Malpica, who slotted into the bottom corner for an early lead.
In the closing minutes of the first half came the best chance of the game for Anna as they were able to get in behind the Cardinals’ defense and knot it up at one.
The halftime break was a welcome sight for adjustments, and led to changes for the Cards. Coming out of the half, both teams pressed for the lead, and as luck would have it, the Cards drew first blood.
A slip pass from August Greer found the feet of Jose Malpica as he danced around the keeper to get his second on the night. It was another great ball from Dane Hansen that created the next goal. In a scrum, Marvin Jordan was able to wrestle off two Anna defenders and push in the third for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals held onto that lead for their first district win of the year at 3-1.
The Lady Cards looked to continue their solid play against McKinney Christian. In the early going, it was MCA who was on the front foot creating a couple early chances, but Lady Cardinal Brittany Morgan was up to the test.
Morgan made two significant saves in the early minutes to keep the game scoreless. This seemed to wake up the Lady Cards as they were then able to establish themselves in the game.
Midway through the first half with the score tied, it was Gillian Stopinski who won possession of a wayward pass and snaked through the defenders, chipping the goal keeper and putting the Lady Cards out front.
At the half, it was a slim 1-0 lead, but the Lady Cards began to dominate play. Out of the half, Cambree Potts would gain an early possession, press down the sideline, and beat the Mustang keeper with a well-placed shot to increase the lead to two.
To round out the scoring, Katie Brown had a volley from just outside the penalty area to make it three.
The Lady Cardinals defense, led by Grace Tegerdine, Jenna Daniel, Sameena Aftab, and Ashley Huffer, kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard in the end, with a final lead of 3-0.
The Cardinals return to district play this Friday at 5:30 p.m. as they host Argyle at home; the Lady Cardinals’ match will follow at 7:15 p.m.
Contributor: Manuel Avila. Photo: Shannon Stopinski.
Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations