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Alicia Aguinaga scored during the 14th minute of the match and Leander High gave McAllen very few chances dominating time of possession and every other key aspect en route to a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs in the second UIL Region IV-5A girls soccer semifinal at the Brownsville Sports Park, ending McHi’s season.

Leander scored twice in the second half including on a line drive just under the crossbar by Aguinaga with 6.3 seconds remaining in the contest. The second Leander goal, to make it 2-0, came off a corner kick from Sadie Guzman that Kensley Seaman-Smith knocked into the back of the net with a perfectly timed header.

Leander will play Leander Rouse for the regional championship after beating McAllen Memorial, also 3-0. The winner will advance to the state tournament.

McHi remains the only girls team in the Rio Grande Valley to advance to the state tournament, doing so in 2018. The Bulldogs reached the regional title game last year but fell to Smithson Valley, 1-0, on a goal in the final minutes of play.

“We tried something in the beginning and it didn’t quite work out and we went down 1-0,” McHi head coach Patrick Arney said. “They get one on a corner and then that sniper shot. I don’t think anybody played bad but we just didn’t play well enough as a team as we could have done.” 

The Valley’s leading scorer this season, Julianna Millin, was surrounded sometimes by as many as three different Leander defenders, sometimes forming a triangle around her. It was an effect strategy against her and the rest of the Bulldogs, who also saw their eight-straight district title streak end as McAllen Memorial claimed it this year.

Millin, a junior, has 148 total career goals and is on pace to shatter the Valley girls career scoring record, held by Sharyland High’s Xochi Nguma with 181. She finished this season with 64 goals, one short of the McHi single-season record held by Anna Hover.

“I think this was more of a rebuilding year for us more than anybody expected, and feel that throughout the season we had to overcome some obstacles,” Millin said. “Some of the loopholes we haven’t quite filled yet showed in this game.

“But everything here is a learning experience and we’re going to take our experience here and take it to next year’s tournament.”

“It happens,” Arney said. “We give thanks fir what we got, for the love of each other and for a great year and say goodbye to the ones leaving and prepare for next year.”