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Lady Vets rank 7th in state, first in RGV

Local Sports

MISSION (KVEO) —The Mission Veterans girls’ soccer team leads the charge in Rio Grande Valley teams ranked in the top 25, sitting at seventh. The only two other Valley teams in the top 25, are McAllen at ninth, and Sharyland at number 14.

The Lady Vets ended their regular season, 14-0-2, running all the way through district play undefeated. Their two tied games, against non-district teams, were to Brownsville Veterans, 0-0-, and Los Fresnos, 1-1.

Now that they’ve flown through a season in a pandemic, they face a new kind of challenge. They won’t play a game again, until the first round of playoffs, in just under three weeks from March 8. Almost three weeks to the day from their last game. During this time, the Lady Vets will need to stay physically healthy and COVID-19 free.

It was this time last year, that the COVID-19 pandemic would rock spring sports seasons.

“Because of COVID, we didn’t play our playoff game last year,” said senior Suzette Vela. “I was hoping COVID wouldn’t ruin this year for us, and thankfully it didn’t.”

This team has seen a lot of change in a year, from the pandemic forcing sports to operate differently, to a change within the team. They lost a handful of seniors to graduation, and brought up players from JV.

“It’s been amazing being able to play with talented players at an advanced level like I am,” said sophomore Aliyah Pelayo, one of the players pulled up from JV.

This year brings four senior leaders to the team. They had a taste of what being sent to the first round of playoffs felt like, without executing the actual game. This year has been a comeback campaign, putting a bow on the regular season with a 10-0 record.

“It just means that we’ve put a lot of hard work into this to get the results that we’ve been waiting for,” said senior Zarahy Campos.

The stakes are high, but in just two and a half weeks, the Lady Vets are leaving it all on the field.

“It would mean a lot because we’re not noticed,” said Pelayo. “Unlike McHi and Sharyland, and it would show that we worked our butts off to get to playoffs and show that we’re number one in the Valley and it’s gonna stay that way.”

The bi-district round of high school girls’ soccer playoffs begins March 25. Team matchups, place, and time are TBD.

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