FARMINGTON — Winning in the first round of the playoffs hasn’t been a problem in recent years for the Lady Scorpions, but the quarterfinals has been a different story.
After defeating No. 12 Roswell 6-0 Saturday at Hutchison Stadium, No. 5 Farmington advanced to the state quarterfinals Thursday in Albuquerque where the Lady Scorps will face No. 4 St. Pius X.
“The girls played their hearts out. It was a great day for us,” said FHS head coach Shannon Gill.
Farmington had no trouble advancing past the Coyotes, scoring three times in each half while allowing only one Roswell shot on goal.
“The defense was really good. They didn’t let a ball past them no matter what,” said FHS forward Hannah Kelley.
Kelley scored three times in the game and she also assisted Katlynn Flack on one of Flack’s two scores.
“Being a team and talking to call for the ball allowed us to get shots,” Kelley said. “We stayed in control and played as a team and worked hard for the win.”
With a strong defensive performance, Farmington rarely allowed the ball into its own half of the field, dictating play in the Roswell half.
Farmington peppered the Roswell goal with over 20 shots, 14 of which were on target.
Farmington led 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game as Kelley scored just five minutes in and Flack again three minutes later.
Kelley added another goal seven minutes later and the Lady Scorps cruised into halftime with a 3-0 lead.
Payton Sandoval scored the final goal of the game for Farmington with only two minutes left in the game.
“You have to finish every game from whistle to whistle and the girls did that,” Gill said. “We just have to continue that momentum and carry it forward into next week.”
After struggling as the finish of the District 1-4A season, Farmington took advantage of the last week off and regrouped before the state tournament began.
“It allowed us time to actually work on several things in practice as opposed to just pregame things like what happens in the end of the district season,” Gill said. “We have been able to refocus and it has worked well for us.”
After losing to St. Pius X 4-1 in Albuquerque on Sept. 15, Gill said she believes the team has grown a lot.
“We won’t be in awe of St. Pius anymore,” Gill said. “We know what to expect. The first game against Pius, I honestly think we played not to lose. You can’t do that. You have to be aggressive. There is a huge hurdle in front of us but, after seeing them and playing them, we won’t be awe-struck.”
Kelley said she believes the past experience against St. Pius will benefit Farmington, and she is confident the girls can win another game to reach the semifinals Friday.
“We have worked well as a team and bonded. Coach Gill has done a fantastic job for us and we can practice for Pius now,” Kelley said. “I think teamwork and not playing as individuals can get us past Pius.”