FARMINGTON — The Farmington High girls' soccer teams has a lot to be charged up about after a big win against the defending state champions.
Sophomore Hannah Kelley scored a pair of goals as the No. 4-ranked Lady Scorpions pulled out a 2-1 victory over the No. 3-ranked Albuquerque Academy Chargers on Tuesday at Hutchison Stadium.
"It's huge for us. We've been playing a lot of teams tough, but coming up on the losing end," said FHS head coach Shannon Gill. "It gives us the confidence we can play with anyone in the state."
Academy (7-5) came out as the more aggressive side early in the first half.
The Chargers hit the crossbar 11 minutes into the game, before grabbing a 1-0 lead with 19:52 left in the first half on a goal by Maddie Higgins.
The Lady Scorps (7-5) equalized about nine minutes later after Kelley earned a penalty kick when she was taken down by the Academy goalkeeper.
Kelley slotted the penalty into the lower left side of the net to tie the score at one heading into halftime.
"The (penalty kick) did help swing momentum in our favor and set the tone for the girls," Gill said.
Kelley scored again less than three minutes into the second half when she dribbled around the keeper and fired into the open net.
"It was mostly my team that helped me. We had some good passes that helped me get the goals," Kelley said.
Academy turned up the pressure after the Lady Scorps took the lead, but FHS keeper Bailey Carter came up with three of her four saves in the second half to help secure the win.
"She was our best player out there. She really saved our butt," Kelley said.
Academy outshot FHS 9-7 in the game.
The Lady Scorps have one game left -- a home matchup with Sandia Prep on Friday -- before beginning District 1-4A play on Oct. 8 at Aztec.
Gill hopes the tough non-district schedule has prepared her squad for the challenging close to the regular season against their local rivals.
"District doesn't get easier for us, and that's why I like playing the tough schedule. We're going to go after everybody and try to come out on top," she said. "We're prepared physically, and, more importantly, mentally. In the tough games, we've never given up. We've kept fighting, and the hard schedule gives us the experience and knowing we can play with them is huge."
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.