The Aldine High Mustangs went on quite a run in the Class 6A soccer playoffs.
Melbin Barahona’s team entered the playoffs as the fourth seed out of District 16-6A, but went all the way to the Region II Finals before falling to College Park, 2-1, one game short of the Class 6A state tournament. The Mustangs opened the playoffs by upsetting traditional area soccer power The Woodlands 1-0, then battled Cy-Lakes to a 0-0 draw and advanced to the third round with a 5-4 shootout victory. Aldine then defeated Langham Creek 2-1 to advance to the Region II Tournament, where they defeated Garland Sachse 3-0 to advance to the finals against College Park.
Barahona said the win over The Woodlands gave his team the confidence it needed to take on all comers.
“First was the hard work my kids put into it,” he said, when asked what sparked the deep playoff run. “After they started to believe and became inspired, we were hungry for more and we knew anything was possible. We became a more consistent team in the playoffs and made fewer mistakes.”
He also said the support the team received from their fans was a big factor in their playoff run.
“Aldine fans also had a lot to do with our success,” Barahona said. “The school started to believe that we had something special in our team. Their support got bigger and bigger.”
Barahona said another key to their success in the playoffs was the tightness the team developed during the playoffs.
“The strength was the unity they (the team) ended up forming through every game played,” he said. “I saw more of a family than a team. They encouraged each other if a mistake was made.”
Barahona knew he had a special group of young men with every playoff game the Mustangs won.
“Their confidence grew enormously after each game because they knew they could handle any team,” he said. “They were not afraid anymore. Their confidence was at the highest peak possible before a game. They realized they had nothing to lose.”
Top performers in the playoffs were defender Raymond Chairez, who had a 95% rating of winning tackles. Top offensive performers were Rogelio Garcia, Gerson Zelaya and Kelvin Vasquez.
And the future is bright for the Mustangs because this is a young team that gained a lot of confidence in the playoffs that should carry over to next season.
Aldine will lose two seniors and return nine starters heading into the 2020 season. Of those nine returning starters, only one will be a junior.
The future is indeed bright for Aldine soccer, and future teams can thank the 2019 squad for setting the tone for bigger and better things to come!
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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