AZTEC — Autumn Petersen came away from the Aztec girls soccer team's 4-1 win over Valencia today a little banged up.
But the hat trick she managed and the second-round 5A state playoff berth her team earned were worth the battle scars.
Petersen scored twice in a 30-second span just before halftime and then added a header goal late in the second half, despite colliding with Valencia's goaltender on the play. Her huge offensive day helped No. 7 Aztec (14-7) cruise past No. 10 Valencia at the Aztec Tiger Sports Complex.
"I got a dead leg, and then I got a bloody nose because I kind of got punched in the nose, but, I scored at least," Peterson said of her third goal, which came with eight minutes remaining in the game.
The Lady Tigers repeatedly sent traffic into the box of Valencia (11-9-1) in the first half. The hosts' first goal was set up by an outstanding corner kick from Stacie Sutherlin. Her ball floated just out of the reach of the fingertips of the Lady Jaguars' goalie, where Alycea Aviles was waiting to boot the ball into the net.
Nearly 25 minutes passed before Petersen got onto the score sheet. The junior finished in the box on a great pass from Kaylee Madewell to make it 2-0, then in the blink of an eye, she got her second goal to go from the top of the Valencia box, just after the ensuing face-off.
"I knew I couldn't beat that defender because she was coming hard," Petersen said of her second goal. "I thought I had to rip it right away. And it was a really hard shot."
A hand ball by Julianna Mitchell 15 minutes into the second half set the Lady Jags up with a penalty kick, which they cashed in on to make it 3-1.
Aztec was a little sloppy in the second half, according to coach Kelly Kelso, but the Lady Tigers still didn't allow the visitors to formulate many scoring opportunities and eventually iced the game on Petersen's third goal.
"I think our movement was great. Defensively, we played better," Kelso said. "The second half, we got sloppy. Valencia played us tough today. Granted, the score was 4-1, but they never gave up."
The Lady Tigers have to upset the No. 2 team in the state in Albuquerque Academy on the road Thursday at 2:30 p.m. if they hope to extend their season. On Sept. 13, Academy edged Aztec 1-0, so Kelso definitely thinks his team has a shot.
"Academy, I think we're going to match up really well," Kelso said. "We had some good opportunities (last time). I'm excited. I think it's going to be a good game."
Goddard 4, Bloomfield 0
No. 12 Bloomfield (12-9) was knocked out of the 5A playoffs by fifth-seeded Goddard, which defended its home field and won 4-0 today.
The Lady Rockets (14-5-1) scored twice in each half. Bloomfield coach Shannon Nygren said Goddard's speed up top along with its passing ability created mismatches in the hosts' favor. Poor communication on Bloomfield's part didn't help, either.
"I told the girls at halftime to play less flat footed and talk a little more," Nyrgren said. "There was definitely too much miscommunication in the second half."
Nygren said Bloomfield's season, its first in class 5A, was a successful one.
"We finished the regular season with more goals for than against, and we just had a really great year to win 12 games and finish 6-3 in the district," Nygren said. "Especially considering we moved up a class."
Santa Teresa 3, Farmington 0
No. 11 Farmington was eliminated from the playoffs after traveling 441 miles for today's match against No. 5 Santa Teresa, a match the Scorpions lost 3-0.
A goal scored from 40 yards out by a Santa Teresa (14-5-2) player midway through the opening half gave the Desert Warriors an edge, and Farmington (11-9-1) shot itself in the foot a little later when a miscommunication on the back line led to a Scorps player scoring on his own net.
The two-goal lead allowed Santa Teresa players to park in their own box and play conservatively for the rest of the game. The Desert Warriors' third goal came in the closing minutes of the contest, when Farmington's sacrificed defenders in an effort to score.
Farmington coach Byron Farnsworth said he probably could have done a better job making adjustments in the game, but he still thinks it was a great season.
"This has been a very, very interesting season. Our back line has been in absolute tatters all year long," Farnsworth said. "We basically rebuilt our whole team, graduating 12 seniors. I think it was definitely a learning experience. It was a very unique season that I think our young team handled extremely, extremely well."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.