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Young Bulldogs Guide McAllen To State

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MCALLEN – McAllen’s historic run to the final four is being spearheaded by its sophomore class. Midfielder Ava Alaniz, one of the team’s leading scorers, had the lone goal against Lake Travis that earned the Bulldogs a ticket to state.

“I was the one lucky enough to score, but that was a team effort from start to finish,” said Alaniz. “I think Lexi had 12 saves. The defense shut out Lake Travis the entire game. Westyn (Henderson) then played me a great ball.”

“It’s an amazing experience,” said Gonzalez. “Especially since we’re the first ever. It’s a really great feeling to have.”

There’s eight sophomores on the squad. Many of them play club soccer together.

“Playing against that kind of competition helps us for games like this where it’s not going to be 7-0, it’s going to be 2-1 or 1-0,” said Alaniz. “We learn how to play against higher level competition and still come out with wins.”

The young Bulldogs are leaving quite an impression on their coach Patrick Arney, who has coached the program for more than 20 years.

“What I’m amazed at is, how much they’re learning and how mature they’ve become in just the last month,” said Arney. “Even though they’re sophomores, they’re playing like seniors.”

McAllen will face Houston Memorial Friday morning at 9:30 in Georgetown in the class 6A semifinals.

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