The Lady Bulldogs celebrate after defeating district leader Hillcrest 3-2 at Franklin Field.
Senior Xya Balderas’ goal from about 30 yards out in the second half turned out to be the difference as the Lady Bulldogs defeated District 11-4A leader Hillcrest 3-2 Wednesday night at Franklin Field.
Xya, who returned last week after being out with an injury, gave North Dallas a 3-1 lead at the time. Hillcrest scored one more goal for the final score.
“I think this win means a lot to the girls but I think more importantly it means a lot to the seniors,” said first-year coach Krystal Mikeska. “It’s their last time to play Hillcrest and it meant a lot to them.
“Xya’s return was motivating, even though she’s not back and playing the full 90 minutes, she is a difference-maker when she is on the field, there is no denying that,” Mikeska added. “I’m glad she was able to come back for her senior year and play with the freshmen. Everyone wanted to win this game for different reasons but as a team, it was one of our goals to beat Hillcrest.”
North Dallas led 2-0 at halftime on goals by freshmen Hennessey Meza and Isis Balderas. Xya set up Isis for a long distance shot.
Coach Mikeska said the game was intense and physical. North Dallas finished the game with only 10 players on the field.
“The girls played extremely well,” Mikeska said. “It was very evident that not only were we wanting to win round 2 against Hillcrest — after losing 2-0 the first time — but the entire team faced a lot of adversity during this game. The girls competed everywhere on the field. I’m very proud of how the girls played.
“Hillcrest is a big rival for the girls, and I know this game means a lot to these seniors. I just hope because our team is so young that our young players can see that and the intensity can continue for years to come. It was an exciting game, at times a little too close for comfort, but overall, I am very proud of the girls. They battled, they played hard, and at the end of the day, they left it all on the field, and as their coach that’s all I can ask for.”
Despite falling to Carter 4-3 last week, the Lady Bulldogs came ready to play against Hillcrest. The team continues to show progress and improvement with each game, Mikeska said.
“This win will be really motivating going into the end of the season and looking at playoffs,” she said. “This team is special, they have worked really hard this season, been very accepting to change, new coaching, have faced so much adversity, and overcome so much, that I couldn’t be more proud of all 18 of them.”
North Dallas plays Madison at 6 p.m. Friday at Cobb Stadium. The boys game follows at 7:30 p.m.
North Dallas Coach Krystal Mikeska holds son Knox after the 3-2 win over Hillcrest.