Tue April 30, 2024

By Lance Hawley

Sports Hope

Lady Cats Clinch Spot in State Tournament with 1-0 Win in Arkadelphia

Hope Soccer Lady Cats Soccer Brency Cabriales Miracle Martinez
Lady Cats Clinch Spot in State Tournament with 1-0 Win in Arkadelphia
Arkadelphia- The Hope Lady Cats punched their ticket for a return trip to the State Tourney with a 1-0 win over the Lady Badgers on Tuesday night in Arkadelphia. When the week began, the Lady Cats knew that two wins would secure their spot in the State Tournament, so the Lady Cats wasted zero time. 

Once again, the Lady Cats defense held their opponents scoreless for consecutive nights, as goal keeper Angelica Soto had her second clean sheet in two nights. The defense played great again, as Cristal Aguilar, Brency Cabriales, Angelina Soto, Jacqueline Reyna, Yudit Dominguez, and Esme Leon all played lights out on Tuesday. This defensive unit has been outstanding throughout conference play, as they have allowed just two goals the past five games. That is 400 combined minutes of soccer. 

Crystal Ortiz's second half goal would be all the Lady Cats would need to win the match, and once again Miracle Martinez did a great job distributing the ball in a big moment, as she set up Aguilar nicely for the game-winning goal. Aguilar has stepped up nicely as of late and has been a great addition up top for the Lady Cats. Also, Martinez has done a great job getting her teammates involved the last two games, as she has three assists in the last two games. Audrey Mercado, Brianna Maclaughlin, Paola Dominguez, and Ari Juanes all continue to do a great job for Hope, as they are looking to peak at the right time of the year. 

Madelyne Maclaughlin caught up with Miracle Martinez and Brency Cabriales after the game and asked them how it felt to earn the win and advance to the State Tournament. "It feels good. We needed a win. I'm really proud of our team. We know we've worked hard, and our coaches pushed us this year," Martinez said. 

"It feels great when hard-work pays off and we really appreciate all the support we get from the people that come out to the games and the coaches," Cabriales said. 

This is a very dedicated group of players that started working towards this goal of a return trip to the State Tournament as early as this summer, running multiple miles a day to get in shape, and working extremely hard in their drills this off-season. This is a well-deserved trip to the tournament. 

You can find the Lady Cats back in action tomorrow night in Morrilton, as they look to finish their regular season on a three-game win streak. State Tournament is set to begin next Thursday in Little Rock. 

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