The Sunrise Mountain girls’ soccer team’s mantra this season has been “grit.”
On Saturday afternoon in the 3A Southern Region finale against Pahrump Valley, the Miners showed they had grit in grinding out a 2-1 win to claim the region crown.
The Miners (11-2-4) hadn’t beat the Trojans this season and were coming off a shootout victory over Moapa Valley on Friday night coming into the Saturday’s title tilt.
“It showed me how great the girls can persevere whenever they put their mind to it, and going in today and winning, is a very important part of what we have in mind,” Sunrise Mountain head coach Brently Garbutt said. “My girls understand what grit is and working hard, and we knew that if we stuck to the plan to play as a team, it was going to happen.”
The Trojans (16-3-3) would strike first early in the second half when Kaitlyn Carrington scored on header assisted by Sydney Dennis.
The Miners would took advantage of the winds in the second half to attack, and at the 50-minute mark Alexandria Trinidad found the back of the net to tie the game.
“I was shocked honestly,” Trinidad said. “I didn’t expect that. I mean I had to react fast and then get it in as soon as possible in order to catch up to them and try to beat them.”
Trinidad scored again 10 minutes later on a shot from 20 yards out from the right side of the field that hooked into the top left corner of the net to give the Miners a 2-1 lead.
“I’ve been practicing and practicing (that shot),” Trinidad said. “I knew today was the day I had to get it in and it went in.”
Garbutt was effusive in her praise of Trinidad.
“If I’m being completely honest, she is a little bit of a game changer,” Garbutt said of the junior forward. “She allows the girls to step up their games so we’re all in the zone together. She’s a special player.”
Now, the Miners will turn their focus to winning a state title, something that Garbutt said will require her team to once again call upon their grit.
“We’ll continue to work hard and rest up. We’re a little injured right now,” she said. “I know my girls and they have heart. They want it.”