Dallas Soccer DFW

Underclassmen lead Mansfield Summit over Arlington Heights

Published 4/1/2011 5:43:54 AM by staff from dallas

The playoffs are usually a time for nerves and upperclassmen to step up and lead.  Mansfield Summit if plowing along with their underclassmen.  Summit's roster is filled with more freshmen and sophomores, nine, than upperclassmen, six.  And those underclassmen have been playing vital roes.

Take Thursday's Class 4A Region I sectional playoff game against Arlington Heights. Sophomore Mackenzie Maserang scored two goals, with freshman Justine Abella assisting on the first in a 2-0 victory at Newsom Stadium.  In goal for Summit was Ana Alycia Juarez, a sophomore who did her part in shutting out a Lady Jackets team that scored 10 goals combined in its first two playoff games.

"I've got sophomores, juniors and freshmen that are scoring my goals," Summit coach Kirby Davis said. "The future is huge. This is a special team and they work their butt off."

The Lady Jaguars had scored ten goals in each of their first two playoff games and advanced to play the winner of Birdville and Wichita Falls in a regional quarterfinal next week.

"I think we needed this game to kind of get back focused," Davis said. "Our goal is to get to state. This is the first time we've gone past three rounds in Summit history. This is a special team that has the heart to do it."

A cross from Abella set up Maserang's first goal at the 34:33 mark of the first half.  Arlington Heights had a big chance six minutes later when Allie Jennings made a move in traffic and got off a shot, but Juarez was there to make the stop. Juarez couldn't control the ball, which allowed Riley Reynolds an opportunity that barely missed the right post.

The Lady Jackets appeared to tie the game in the 12th minute when Kaelen Sherman found a wide-open Jennings for a goal. But Jennings was ruled offside.  Mackenzie Maserang then scooted free for a breakaway  with Heights goalie Jessica Gradante and beat her to the left post for a 2-0 lead.  Gradante made several clutch saves to give Heights a chance in the second half, but Summit held on for the shutout.

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