The Jaguars remained in first place in 10-6A with two victories this past week and senior Gillian McKenzie recorded shutouts in both matches.
On Friday, she got plenty of support, as the Jaguars rolled to a 10-0 blanking of Skyline.
Tuesday’s match was much tighter against fellow contender Rockwall-Heath, but McKenzie made several key saves, including stopping a pair of penalty kicks, to help preserve the 1-0 victory.
As an encore performance after her selection as athlete of the week, McKenzie posted another shutout on Tuesday in a 2-0 victory over Mesquite as Horn remained in sole possession of first place.
On the season, the Jaguars have allowed only 12 goals and have recorded 10 shutouts in 19 matches.
Horn is 15-3-1 overall and 9-1-0 in 10-6A and with 27 points, it leads Rockwall (8-0-2, 26) by one point heading into the final three matches of the season.
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SLM: Good teams normally all get along. How would you describe the chemistry on this team?
GM: We are a team that understands the importance of training hard to win, but we also like to have fun together. We’re a group of girls that really cares about one another and we feed off each other's passion for the game. I feel that each of us have different strengths that have helped our team to be successful this year. Coach Coppedge has also pushed us to put the team first and our motto this season has been "WE > ME."
SLM: Many players describe goalkeeper as being different than other positions on the field. What is the mindset it takes to be a good goalkeeper?
GM: To be a good goalkeeper you need to have a strong mentality. It’s OK to celebrate your good saves but also recognize your mistakes. Even the best goalkeeper isn’t going to stop every shot. Some will go past you, but what's going to set you apart is learning to shake those off. You’ve got to have a short- term memory during a game to stay mentally focused for the next ball that comes your way. You must be fearless.
SLM: For many student-athletes, soccer is a year-round sport. Is this the case for you, and if so, what teams do you play for when it is not high school soccer season?
GM: I have spent many years playing for various club soccer teams. I currently play for Sting Royal ECNL under coach Lee Weddall.
SLM: What are some of your hobbies off the soccer field?
GM: I’m a Texas girl. I love to go to country music concerts and hangout with my friends. I love the outdoors and enjoy taking my two dogs, Beau and Shelby, to the park. I also enjoy painting and drawing.
SLM: Who is a professional athlete you look up to and why?
GM: I look up to Hope Solo obviously because she is one the greatest female goalkeepers to ever play the game. She trains like a beast and gives 100% every time she steps on the field. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and has been an advocate for women’s soccer.
SLM: What are your goals/expectations for yourself and the team for the rest of the season?
GM: My personal goals are to help lead my team to the playoffs and have as many shutouts as possible. I want to continue to grow as a leader and athlete to help better prepare me for the next level. My goals and expectations for my team are to start by winning district. We have a lot of talent on our team. I feel that if we work hard and leave it all on the field, we can achieve that. I expect us to give every ounce of focus, energy and talent to win.