Facing the threat of going 0-2 to start the District 1-4A girls’ soccer season, No. 3 Aztec and No. 5 Piedra Vista went toe-to-toe Thursday.
Hailey Morris scored the lone goal of the match halfway into the second half, giving Aztec a 1-0 lead the defense would secure for a crucial win. It was Morris’ 18th goal of the season.
“I don’t know about nerves or anything, but we had a sense of urgency knowing whoever lost this game was going to be sitting in the back seat,” said Aztec head coach Stephen Parks.
After failing to score on several chances Tuesday against Farmington in a 2-0 loss, Parks was thrilled to see Morris finish on a chance in the second half.
“That goal gave us some confidence and we attacked a little more after that,” he said. “We controlled the ball real well and our defense played great doing what they are supposed to do.”
PV (9-5 overall , 0-2 District 1-4A) managed very few opportunities against Aztec’s (13-2, 1-1) tough defense.
“We just weren’t consistent,” said PV head coach Shaun Taylor. “We pressured and passed well, but not consistently enough, and it cost us big time. It was a pretty even game, but Aztec took the chance and got the goal.”
After losing 1-0 to Kirtland Central on Tuesday, Taylor was much happier with the focus of his team, but he knows the team needs to run the table the rest of the way to still have a chance at winning the district.
“I believe a two loss team can win it. Everybody is really even this year,” Taylor said. “I think if we win out we could still end up on top of district.”
Parks knows his situation is better than Taylor’s after the win, but he thinks Aztec also needs to win the rest of its district games to have a chance at the district crown.
“I tell our girls they have to play every game like it is the district championship. Every game is that important, and any of these games could be what decides the champ,” Parks said.
Aztec travels to Hope Christian on Saturday while PV plays Farmington High next Tuesday.
Farmington 3, Kirtland Central 0
There are several new faces on this year’s team, but the momentum from winning the District 1-4A title a year ago has certainly carried over to this season.
After upsetting No. 3 Aztec on Tuesday 1-0, No. 9 Farmington (9-7, 2-0) had no problem going on the road to beat No. 8 Kirtland Central 3-0 on Thursday.
“All of the girls are playing amazing. Our tough pre-district schedule has allowed us to come together as a team and for the girls to form together as a cohesive unit,” said FHS head coach Shannon Gill. “We have figured things out and are playing extremely well.”
Junior striker Katelynn Flack scored the first and third goals for Farmington, with the third being assisted by Brie Bahe.
Freshman Hannah Kelley added her 13th goal of the season for the Lady Scorps.
Once again, goalkeeper Ellae Montoya kept a clean sheet.
It wasn’t the match Kirtland Central (12-4, 1-1) head coach Leonel Comacho was hoping his team would have after beating No. 5 Piedra Vista 1-0 on Tuesday.
“Give credit to Farmington for beating us at home. We didn’t play to our ability,” Comacho said. “All we can do now is try to beat them at their home field.”
The Lady Broncos have until next Tuesday to prepare for Aztec while Farmington will hit the road to play No. 2 Albuquerque Academy on Saturday.
“It is a big weekend for us. The confidence we have built with wins against Hope Christian and Sandia Prep, who have previously beaten us, and the confidence boost we got in one heck of a game against Aztec on Tuesday has been big,” Gill said. “We hope we can carry the momentum into Saturday, and may the best team win against Academy.”