Soccer teams defeated - The Explorer: Sports

Soccer teams defeated

Despite valiant efforts, state title eludes NW teams

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Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:00 am

Last week, four Northwest area high school teams advanced as far as the final four in their soccer brackets, while two of them advanced to their state title games, before falling.

The No. 1-ranked Ironwood Ridge (23-4) girls advanced to the state title game for the first time ever, before losing to second-ranked Phoenix Pinnacle (18-0), by a final of 4-2. Morgan Sibson scored the Nighthawks’ first goal, but it wasn’t until the 60th minute, after the team had trailed 2-0 at halftime. But in many ways, the score was very misleading.

“We had four good scoring opportunities in the first half,” said Nighthawks coach Sean Watkins. “The first half was pretty wide open.”

Ironwood was credited with seven shots on goal, while Pinnacle managed five.

Breck Robinson’s goal with eight minutes left in regulation cut the deficit to 3-2. The Nighthawks had several great scoring opportunities. A corner kick to Camie Barbera’s head had a chance, but she missed it wide to the left of the net.

“We just couldn’t get it done,” Watkins said.

The final goal was a fluky, garbage-time goal by Pinnacle in the final few seconds.

“It’s the best game we’ve played all year,” Watkins said. “The girls left everything out on the field.

“Lauren Debeliso may have been our best player out there,” Watkins said. “Most of the players had their best game of the year.”

The Nighthawks qualified for the title game by virtue of defeating rival Mountain View earlier in the week, 3-2 in the semi-finals. The game, which was originally scheduled for the Phoenix area, was switched to Tucson High School.

During the regular season, the two teams competed for the region title, and Ironwood won in a ho-hum affair, 4-2. At Tucson High on Thursday, there was a lot more fire and intensity on both sides, as would be expected in a semi-final playoff game between two geographic rivals. This time, it took double overtime before the Nighthawks prevailed 3-2.

“It took nearly 100 minutes to decide the outcome,” Watkins said. Ironwood’s Kaitlyn Lopez broke the tie with a goal in the 97th minute. Lopez scored two goals, while Madi Kinzer added another. Camie Barbera had two assists for the Nighthawks.

“Lopez and Camie are a handful for any team to deal with,” Watkins said. “Both teams were fired up.”

Lopez scored with just 18 seconds left in the first half to tie it at 1-1.

“We told the girls we didn’t want to be down at halftime,” Watkins said.

Sophomore Justene Kesterson kept the pressure on with one goal and an assist for Mountain View. In the 68th minute, Kesterson assisted Ashley Estrada for the tying goal, which ultimately forced the overtimes.

For the top-seeded Pusch Ridge girls, there was no disgrace in losing 1-0 to Goodyear Estrella Foothills in the state title game. Estrella Foothills captured its third consecutive state title. For the Lions, it was the team’s inaugural trip to the title game. Foothills scored the game’s only goal in the 36th minute.

“It was a good game,” said Pusch Ridge coach Juan Bortfeld. “The result itself showed that both teams belonged in the title game.

“Knowing that we have the talent is disappointing. We came out a little flat.”

Chelsea Ruland, the leading scorer in Southern Arizona, was shut out.

On a team that gave up very few goals during the season, Bortfeld had kudos for his team.

“The entire team has really stepped up,” Bortfeld said. “Sarah MacDonald is a smart player. Brennan Smith is a co-captain that’s anchored our defense.”

Bortfeld also was very impressed with Caroline Herrera and Stephanie Smith. Anna Jacob finished second on the team in scoring behind Ruland.

The Pusch Ridge boys season ended with a semi-final loss to eventual champion, Northwest Christian, 4-0.

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Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

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

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

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

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

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

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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