Lady Warriors oust Eagles in home soccer game
Put another feather in the war bonnet of the Socorro High School girls soccer team. The Lady Warriors plucked a 2-1 double overtime victory from the Belen Lady Eagles at home on Thursday, Sept. 10.
The win was especially sweet for Lady Warrior Victoria Lopez, whose 2008 season ended with an injury that was received playing against Belen (5-3). Lopez is back this season, albeit with a leg brace, and tapped in the winning goal on an assist from Angelina Stanzione.
“I’m so happy,” an emotional Lopez said after the game. “I’m just, like, happy because last year, I tore my (anterior cruciate ligament) playing against them and this year I shot and it mattered.”
“It’s great to beat Belen — they’re a great (Class) 4A school,” said Socorro coach Mitch Carrejo.
A series of strong opening attacks from the Lady Warriors (6-1) in the first half were rebuffed by the Lady Eagles, who pride themselves on their defense.
After a few minutes, the Lady Eagles settled in for the attack and a shot from Belen’s Nicholle Sanchez in the 10th minute went past Socorro goalie Mileva Gacanich, but Sanchez was ruled offside and the goal was overturned.
In the 20th minute, Belen’s Kelli Williams put in a long shot over Gacanich’s head to put Belen up 1-0.
More offside infractions ended several Lady Eagle attacks and control shifted to Socorro’s favor in the final 10 minutes of play in the first half. Just before halftime Socorro standout Dezirae Armijo made a breakaway run and scored to tie it up 1-1.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” said Carrejo. “We came out real sluggish.”
The slow start was probably from 11 days without a game, Carrejo said.
As the second half progressed, Socorro seemed to perform better and contested more free balls. Socorro stopper Nikki Engler lived up to her role — and ended nearly every offensive push by Belen.
As the time wound down, Belen mounted a strong final attack that pressured the Socorro defense in the last few minutes of the second half. Gacanich was able to stop a well-placed header just before the end of the second half and a couple of Belen corner kicks fizzled.
In the two overtime periods, Socorro outshot Belen seven to one, and eventually the Lady Eagles defense was compromised with the three-pronged attack from Armijo, Stanzione and Lopez.
“In overtime we came out and dominated. We were trying to play a little faster.” said Carrejo, “It was a good game all around.”
Carrejo credited burnout runs at the end of practices with building up the endurance the Lady Warriors needed to finish an overtime game like this one.
The Warriors travel to play Roswell High today (Saturday), at 1 p.m.; they are on the road in Bernalillo on Monday, Sept. 14,; and then, host Pojoaque on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 3 p.m.