Tiger girls battle through injuries, focus on goal - The Explorer: Sports

Tiger girls battle through injuries, focus on goal

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Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:10 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

The Marana girls soccer team may be well on its way to a playoff berth.

Last Tuesday, the Tigers resumed play after the holidays with a well-contested 3-2 win over Sabino. It moved Marana to 13-3 on the campaign.

Sabino gave the Tigers one of their most competitive games this year.

Ashley Willoughby broke a 2-2 tie with a long goal on a free kick at the 19:47 mark of the second half for the eventual winner. Willoughby came into the game with 13 goals, good for third in Southern Arizona. She also has eight assists.

It appeared Marana's Lauren Garcia had kicked the game's first goal into an empty net, but the shot was waived off due to offsides. But Garcia got another chance and scored with 10:57 left to make it 1-0 in the first. Jade Carr got the assist.

"It was a really aggressive game," Garcia said. "We knew it would be a good game."

The Sabercats got a goal of their own by Addison Brown, but the Tigers came back about five minutes later and regained the lead on a goal by Ariella Schneider. Sara Rosemore assisted on it for a 2-1 halftime lead.

A breakaway shot was denied, and a Marana penalty kick was missed during a two-minute span.

Sabino was not without its opportunities, outshooting the home team 17-8. The Tigers could never get too comfortable, as the Sabercats' Ashley Ross scored on a penalty kick to tie it at the 31:14 mark.

Garcia went down with an injury, which had coach Dan Tarquin holding his breath. "I'm missing three starters for possibly the rest of the year," Tarquin said.

Garcia was able to return and provide needed energy. She missed a shot wide left. But in the final minutes, Garcia made two very good defensive plays, heading out a centering pass near the goal box, then denying Sabino yet again.

But the Sabercats weren't through yet. Ria Joseph got near the goal box, but was met there by backup goalie Caitlin Ward, who stymied her advance. Then, Joseph came back about a minute later and hit the goal post.

"We pulled a defender," Tarquin said. "I can't say enough about how Caitlin filled in."

Ward was filling in for regular goalkeeper Tori Stocker, who might miss the rest of the year. Stocker has seven shutouts for the season, while the freshman Ward has another three.

"Kelsey Ballard did a great job," Tarquin said. "All four of our defenders did well, Nikki Koeppen, Jade Carr, Cheyenne Smith and Kelsey."

With the furious flurry by Sabino near the end, was Garcia worried?

"It was nerve-wracking," Garcia said. "But we knew we could get another goal if they scored."

The defense has shown itself all season for the Tigers, who have recorded 11 shutouts and allowed 12 goals.

"Our defense did a good job on them," Tarquin said. "It's really rewarding to win a game like this. We put forth the effort to get the win."

What about the playoff chances?

"I think if we keep up our intensity like in the last few games, we have a shot," Garcia said.

Marana's offense hasn't been too bad, either, as evidenced by 80 goals in 16 games.

Crystal Leon is fourth in area scoring with 11 goals, while Cassidy Troutman has nine assists, leading the area.

"Our goal is to make the playoffs," Tarquin said. "We've really only been outplayed in one game."

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

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