FARMINGTON — The girls District 1-4A soccer race will come down to the final day of the regular season after Aztec and Farmington picked up key road wins against their local rivals.
The No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers defeated Piedra Vista 2-1 while the No. 3 Lady Scorps knocked off Kirtland Central 2-0 on Tuesday.
Aztec (17-2 overall, 4-1 District 1-4A) dominated its game with the Lady Panthers (9-9, 2-3) in terms of scoring opportunities and time of possession, but the Lady Tigers struggled to put any of those chances in the back of the net.
"We had some good opportunities that we didn't capitalize on," said Aztec head coach Stephen Parks. "At this point, we're preparing for state. We've got one game left in district, and we have to go out and put the ball in the back of the net."
The Lady Tigers opened the scoring with just a couple minutes left in the first half when Hailey Morris scored during a scramble in front of a goal following a corner kick to give Aztec a 1-0 lead.
PV found its tying goal 23 minutes into the second half when Jenna Brown curled a shot into the top right corner of the net from about 25 yards.
"I felt in the second half we gained more control and were playing more on their side," said PV coach Ryan Mussett.
The game appeared to be heading for overtime when Kayli Farmer scored the game-winning goal from the right side of the 18-yard box with about two minutes left in regulation.
"It's always nerve wracking when you're tied 1-1, but Stephen says when you're open to take the shot and if not, then pass it off. I was open so I took the shot," Farmer said. "I tried to stay calm, but I was extremely nervous inside. It went in though, so I'm extremely happy."
The Lady Tigers outshot PV 40-5, including 17-4 in shots on goal, but Lady Panthers' goalkeeper Sara Engert made 15 saves to allow her team to hang in the contest until the final minutes.
"I commend our defense and our goalie Sara. She stuck in there the whole time. Without her, it probably would have been a lot worse," Mussett said. "They just made one more play and that's all it took. It sucks to lose, but I'm proud of the way the girls played. They played hard and didn't roll over."
FHS (12-6, 4-1) answered Aztec's win by shutting out Kirtland Central (10-9, 0-5).
"It was awesome," said FHS head coach Shannon Gill of the win. "Especially coming into Kirtland and getting the shut out. It's tremendous and gives us great momentum."
Hannah Kelley and Arin Coleman scored second-half goals for the Lady Scorps to pick up the critical win.
Kelley's goal came with about 20 minutes left in the game to break a 0-0 deadlock in which both teams struggled to create chances.
She said a lot of the credit for her goal went to Payton Sandoval, who got the assist after a cross into the box.
"Payton sent in a great ball," Kelley said. "She's a great midfielder."
KCHS head coach Leonel Camacho was disappointed after the loss, but knows his team will need to come out fighting in the final game to secure a playoff spot.
"It's been an uphill battle this whole time, and we haven't caught any breaks. We can't seem to get anything to fall our way," Camacho said.
Aztec and FHS are tied at the top of the district standings and a win by both on Thursday means the title will come down to a goal-differential tiebreaker.
Each team owns a 2-1 victory over the other, so the tiebreaker would come down to the goal differential in all district games.
FHS currently has a two-goal advantage over the Lady Tigers within the district.
Parks said his team can't afford to worry about tiebreakers.
"At this point, I'm not concerned with it," he said. "I'm sure it will probably come down to that, but we're not going to focus on that. Our focus is winning games."
Gill said having the tiebreaker advantage is important going into the last game, but it won't matter much if FHS doesn't win its final game.
"It's huge, but we just have to be able to take care of business on Thursday," he said.
The district season concludes on Thursday when Aztec plays Kirtland and FHS hosts PV.
Each team will be desperate for a win as they try to secure a first round bye or improve their playoff seeding.
"You want to finish that last game with a win and playing well," Parks said. "We want to come play and finish strong."
Bloomfield 4, Santa Fe Indian 0
The Lady Bobcats (9-11 overall, 7-3 District 1-3A/A) finished off their regular season with a shutout victory against the Lady Braves (4-14, 2-6).
"It's really big for the girls," said Bloomfield head coach Kate Dunlap. "We got the rhythm to our game down now."
Jenna Wethington scored twice for Bloomfield while Teagan Mosley and Alyssia Page each added a goal as the Lady Bobcats won their seventh straight game.
The No. 11-ranked Lady Bobcats will find out this weekend if they were selected to the 3A/A state playoffs.
"We're pretty hopeful that we'll get to go," Dunlap said. "The girls went last year and really want to go back."