Spring Branch Soccer Preview Pt. 2
Memorial Girls: The Memorial Mustangs girls soccer team won state in 2018, the first-ever Spring Branch ISD girls soccer team to have hoisted the hardware.
It wasn't a fluke and coach Lyndley Amarantos has a team hungry for another state run.
"We are excited," the 2018 National Federation of State High School Association Girls' Soccer Coach of the Year said. "The sky is the limit. Last year, we were dealing with a state hangover and that was a lot to come back from. This year the girls are focused and ready. Hopefully, people have forgotten about us and we can come out and surprise some people."
Not likely, coach, as Memorial (20-4-1; 15-0-1) won district and reached the second round of the postseason in 2019.
"The state title put us on the map and was great recognition for the girls," she said. "So many great programs never make it to state or hold up that trophy – it's just icing on the cake. Our team could see the results of their hard work. It wasn't just that team, but the program, the community and the high school. It was neat for everyone to share in that success."
With a year to process, the squad is refocused and loaded with experience and talent.
The leader of the crew is Kelsey Hranicky, who is an offensive stud. The senior was a member of the state title team and is signed to the University of Texas.
Other big-time playmakers will be Blakely Buckingham, Reagan Goodwine, Callie Hurley (back from ACL) and Juliann Kidd (Kansas State), who all have that combo of size, speed, physicality and experience.
"The thing that makes us good is that we keep evolving as a program," Callie Hurley said. "Every year we get great new players and our relationships as a team gets tighter and tighter. I look forward to seeing how that plays out on the field this year."
Memorial Boys: Jason Zimmerman enters his 17th season at Memorial High School. Heading into this spring, 24 players will suit up for the Mustangs. Seven sophomores, 10 returners – including four all-district returners – are all back. Another all-district player is back after not playing in 2019 due to an ACL tear. – "I think we have a pretty good balance of experience and new guys. We're really playing as a unit this year more than I've seen early on in previous years." Players to watch include Cesar Delgado, Salam Shammas, Marco Dias and Graeme Gunn.
Spring Woods Girls: Sara Pollicove – an alum of Spring Woods HS – enters her second season leading the Tigers. Last season, Pollicove believes they played their best soccer at the end to carry momentum into
the offseason – "I see in these girls a fight and encouragement for each other." Players to watch include Jasmine Aranda and Lizbeth Lopez, who is a versatile player.
Northbrook Girls: In 2019, the Raiders broke through and made the playoffs for the first time in six years. Northbrook lost a hard-fought, bi-district match against Bellaire, 3-2. They are on the hunt for the program's first-ever back-to- back playoff appearances since 2000-2001 and first-ever playoff win. Senior Cecilia Lopez is a solid returner for the Raiders. So, how do they make history this year? – "I think it's based on us and our commitment. The willingness to work and make the playoffs again and make it a goal. Other players to watch include Alycia Marin and Jacquelyn Cortez.
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