Prev

    Mansker, Mata lead Victoria East to Crossroads Classic crown



    Victoria East's Jahnae Mata battles for control over the ball with Flour Bluff's Kianna Young during the first half of Saturday morning's Crossroads Classic game at Memorial Stadium. Mata scored one of the goals in the 3-1 Titan victory.

    Victoria East's Jahnae Mata battles for control over the ball with Flour Bluff's Kianna Young during the first half of Saturday morning's Crossroads Classic game at Memorial Stadium. Mata scored one of the goals in the 3-1 Titan victory. Photo by Angeli Wright.

    photo

    Victoria East's Jahnae Mata controls the ball with her chest during the first half of Saturday's Crossroads Classic game against Flour Bluff at Memorial Stadium. After defeating the Hornets in the morning game, the Titans went on to win the tournament after defeating St. Joseph High School in the afternoon.

    photo

    The Titans surround Madison Hawkins in celebration after she scored her second goal in the team's 3-1 victory over Flour Bluff during the Crossroads Classic Saturday at Memorial Stadium. After defeated the Hornets, the Titans went on to defeat St. Joseph High School in the next game, winning the tournament.

    photo

    Victoria East's Rachel Mansker attempts to gain control of the ball from Flour Bluff's Katrina Maldonado as she falls to the ground during the second half of Hawkins went on to score two goals in the second half Saturday morning's Crossroads Classic game at Memorial Stadium. The Titans defeated the Hornets 3-1.

    photo

    Victoria East's Madison Hawkins races Flour Bluff's Sarah Thompson to the ball during the second half of Saturday morning's Crossroads Classic game at Memorial Stadium. Hawkins scored two goals in the 3-1 Titan victory.

    photo

    Victoria East's Nanci Vasquez battles with Flour Bluff's Sloane Taylor for the ball during the first half of Saturday morning's Crossroads Classic game at Memorial Stadium. The Titans defeated the Hornets 3-1.

    Saturday's Scores

    St. Joseph 4- Houston St. Agnes 0

    Flour Bluff 1- Houston St. Agnes 0

    Victoria East 3- Flour Bluff 1

    Beeville 5- Calallen 0

    Calallen 3- El Campo 0

    Beeville 5- Rockport-Fulton 4

    Gregory-Portland 2- Victoria West 0

    Victoria West 8- Rosenberg Terry 1

    All-Tournament Team

    Offensive MVP: Rachel Mansker, Victoria East

    Defensive MVP: Kendra Spencer, St. Joseph

    Amanda Groenhuyzen, St. Joseph

    Calleigh Tucker, Flour Bluff

    Kennah Leal, Rockport-Fulton

    Heather McKinney, Beeville

    Anhila Rocha, Victoria West

    Madison Hawkins, Victoria East

    Rachel Mansker has a developed a reputation for her free kick taking abilities over the last two seasons. However, the Victoria East midfielder recently confided she doesn't really like taking corner kicks.

    With the junior co-captian focusing on other responsibilities, Jahnae Mata has stepped into that role, with aplomb.

    It was Mata's pinpoint corner kick, from the near sideline that was volleyed home by Mansker in the 23rd minute of Victoria East's game Saturday afternoon against St. Joseph. The goal tied contest 1-1.

    Mansker and Mata were responsible for the Titans two other goals, which were enough to lift Victoria East to a 3-2 win in the championship game of the Crossroads Classic.

    "I'm a hungry goal-getter," said Mansker with a laugh Saturday afternoon when asked why she doesn't like taking corners. "Jahnae gets them spot on, so I give her credit. If you have someone who is better than me on corner, put them out there."

    Mansker's reputation for long range goals is on par with her free kick abilities. She scored another one Saturday on her way to being named the tournament's Offensive MVP.

    East improved to 4-0-0 on the season with the win. Saturday's come from behind win capped off a tournament where the Titans beat a pair of district champions from 2012 as well as an in-town school.

    St. Joseph (3-1-0) forward Amanda Groenhuyzen scored two goals, one in the fifth minute and her second in the 24th minute to give the Lady Flyers a 2-1 advantage.

    Groenhuyzen was named to the All-tournament team after scoring eight goals in four games. But, the speedy senior forward didn't score again after intermission.

    East's freshman defender Lauren Rangnow was step for step with Groenhuyzen when she appeared to be behind the Titans defense. When the St. Joseph forward was able to unleash a shot, Kelsey Ferry came up with three strong stops in the first 10 minutes of the second half to keep the game tied 2-2.

    "I think we're really close this year," said Mata, a sophomore winger who provided either a goal, or an assist in all four tournament games. "The feeling is amazing, we've all gotten better and we've gotten closer."

    East has a new system this year, which through four games appears to suit them perfectly. Or as Mata quipped when asked about it "Our coach is amazing. She knows what she's doing."

    It's unknown whether Misty Boenig heard the endorsement. But, the smile Boenig sported afterward was indicative of the pride she had in a team that has improved since a 4-2 loss to Beeville in the area playoffs last year.

    East defeated Flour Bluff 3-1 earlier Saturday morning using slick passing and wing play to beat a perennial playoff team. Later in the day, against St. Joseph, the Lady Titans showed their tactical flexibility by routinely bypassing the midfield in an attempt to get the ball to Mata, center forward Madison Hawkins and winger Nanci Vazquez.

    "Rachel is really good and Morgan (Wyatt) is really good," Rangnow said about East's center midfielders. "They were trying to control the middle, so we were trying to send it up to our forwards and get a better chance at scoring."

    That's exactly how the match-winner was created. Destinee Kueker, the third person in East's central midfield, threaded a through ball to Mata on the right wing in the 60th minute.

    Mata took one touch and put in a hard right-footed shot the St. Joseph goalkeeper got a fingertip to, but not enough to keep out. The placement of the goal was so perfect, St. Joseph's Nicole Sontheimer and Morgan Barker congratulated Mata on it afterward.

    Sontheimer and Barker are Mata's teammates on the Victoria Heat '95, a local club soccer team that recently won the South Texas Youth Soccer Association U19 state championship.

    The most conflicted person at Memorial Stadium on the gloomy afternoon may have been Scott Sontheimer. He's the husband of St. Joseph soccer coach Vicki Sontheimer and father of two Flyers players, but he's also coaches Mansker, Mata and Kelsey Ferry for the Victoria Heat.

    "It means a lot," Mansker said of the tournament victory. "We're all very excited for the season."



    Community Eventsadd