This has been the most successful season ever for the Aldine Lady Mustangs soccer team.
The ladies won the district championship for the second time in program history and they had the most district wins they ever had with 12 wins.
Their record this season was 17-2-5 and they’re district record was 12-2.
What’s special about the Lady Mustangs journey to becoming district champs is that it was anything but an overnight success.
Just three years ago when soccer coach Mark Kuehl took over, the program barely had enough players to make a varsity team, let alone a junior varsity squad.
But despite the limited amount of players, Kuehl worked with what he had and over time the program grew into the district champions it is today.
They not only won district on varsity, they also won district on the junior varsity level.
“The kids were super excited to become district champs,” Kuehl said.
For the Lady Mustangs this year has been all about improvement.
Dating back to last year, they went from 4th place to the 1st seed in the playoffs – from 10 district wins to 12 wins – and from giving up 19 goals on defense to only giving up 8 goals this year.
The beauty in the improvements is that its all been done through a team effort.
Leading the team this year was senior Johana Lopez who not only kept the team together, she also made it her business to be encouraging towards her teammates when she saw they were down.
Delmi Rodriguez, a junior, was the offensive firepower on the team as she led the team with 20 goals.
Isis Gil whose a junior had 12 goals and she was the “difference maker” on the team as she made big plays on offense and defense this year.
The ultimate playmaker of the team was junior Melissa Olivares as she led the team with 12 assist and put everyone in the best position to be successful.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior Jennifer Lopez and sophomore Pamela Calvo were the team’s top defenders. They were a big part of the Lady Mustangs only giving up 8 goals this season.
“They’re used to playing with each other and they’re good friends on the field as well as off the field,” Kuehl said about the team’s success and chemistry.
What else has led the Lady Mustangs to become district champs is their mental toughness.
The ladies have played with the mindset of “Fear Is Not Real” all year long and the team motto is “Pressure Is A Privilege”.
Pressure being a privilege was seen earlier during the season when the Lady Mustangs found themselves down 2-0 with ten minutes left in the game.
Instead of folding under pressure the ladies embraced the challenge and won the game 3-2.
Knowing that his team embraces pressure situations is what gives Kuehl confidence in his girls as they get ready for their playoff run.
Though the program has won two district titles they have yet to win a playoff game. Kuehl not only expects to get the first playoff win in history, but he also thinks the Lady Mustangs can make it as far as the Regional Finals.
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