FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista girls soccer team couldn’t match Valencia’s aggressive play in the second half and saw its season come to an end with a 2-0 defeat to the Lady Jaguars in the first round of the girls 5A state tournament Friday afternoon at the PV soccer fields.
“We had some bad bumps and bad hops of the ball, and girls falling, so we stopped being as physical because we were worried it was not going to go our way. But you can’t stop being physical,” PV head coach Adam Huff said. “You have to keep the pedal to the metal, and we stopped doing that the last 20 minutes or so.”
With 21 minutes remaining in the match, No. 10 Valencia was awarded a free kick just inside midfield. The Lady Jaguars played the ball to the top of the box, and before the ball touched the ground, junior forward Destinee Vigil put her left foot on the ball and fired the shot into the left upper 90 for the goal.
Senior Amanda Burson delivered the dagger with about four minutes remaining, poking in a corner kick PV couldn’t clear.
The No. 7 Lady Panthers controlled the first half, playing fast and aggressively to create scoring opportunities.
Midway through the first half, PV’s Hannah Sayyeau placed a long throw-in directly in front of the goal. The ball sat on the on the field for a couple of seconds with neither PV nor Valencia able to get a clean foot on it, and the Valencia goalkeeper eventually secured the ball.
About 10 minutes later, PV put a pair of shots on frame, but again the Valencia keeper made good saves to keep the match scoreless.
Seven minutes before halftime, PV was awarded a corner kick, and Sayyeau rose above everyone on the field to get her head on the ball. But her header missed just wide left after deflecting off a Valencia player.
“It hurts a lot. Normally, if you score the first one, you have a lot of momentum, especially when it comes down to where we're at right now,” Huff said in reference to the state tournament. “We just didn’t take advantage of them.”
The loss ends PV’s season, making it the first time since the 2010 season that the Lady Panthers failed to advance to the quarterfinals.
“They played well. They played hard and did everything I asked them to do,” Huff said of the Lady Panthers. “I’m sad that it ended like this, but we had a good season.”
Bloomfield 1, Taos 0
It was a shaky regular season for the Lady Bobcats, but with a new season came a new team on Friday in Taos.
No. 11 Bloomfield (7-13, 4-8 District 1-4A) went on the road to open the 4A girls state tournament and was able to grind out a 1-0 double-overtime upset win over No. 6 Taos (12-4). The Lady Bobcats will move on to play No. 3 St. Mike's in the quarterfinals.
"The girls just came here with that look in their eyes — they came to win," Bloomfield coach Shannon Nygren said. "My defensive line was fantastic, and offensively, we were on the attack today."
Vanessa Harris scored a few minutes into the second OT by crossing the ball over and finding the back right corner of the net to end the defensive battle.
Bloomfield's defense was so stingy on Friday that keeper Kara Watchman only had to stop eight shots in a game that went into double OT. Lady Tigers sophomore phenom Cora Cannedy scored 33 goals in the regular season, but Bloomfield was able to shut her down.
"I don't even know if (Cannedy) got three shots on goal today," Nygren said. "That was the most our defense has communicated all year, and it showed. We got the results from it. Just a fantastic effort all around."
Hope Christian 6, Bloomfield 0
The Bloomfield boys could never find a rhythm in the first round of the 4A state tournament on Friday, and it cost them their season.
On a wet, muddy field in Albuquerque, the visiting twelfth-seeded Bobcats (7-14, 0-9 District 1-4A) were shut out 6-0 by No. 5 Hope Christian (13-7-1, 5-3-1).
In the first half, Bloomfield fell into a 3-0 hole that it just couldn’t climb out of. Hope then tacked on three more goals in the second half and cruised to victory.
“We could never really get into a good flow of the game. It was just one of those days,” Bobcats coach Scott Reid said.
Reid said he was proud of his players' effort this year and considers them family.
“I love these kids like they’re my own,” Reid said he told his team. “I let them know that being in a district with all private schools, we fought our butts off, we gave it all we've got and we have nothing to hang our heads about.”
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.