Green Valley girls soccer coach Roy Snyder felt confident when his team’s Division I state semifinal against Carson went to a shootout Friday.
With good reason.
Nicole Westover, Kayla Anderson, Cayla Imahara and Lauren Aronson each converted a penalty kick to give the Gators a 4-3 edge over Carson after the match was tied 1-1 following two overtimes at Heritage Park.
The victory sent Green Valley (17-0-2) into the state final against Arbor View (14-4) at noon today.
“All year long, we worked on PKs, and we’ve talked about how uncanny it is how good this team is at PKs,” Snyder said. “I wasn’t nervous one bit. I knew they’d hit them all.
“There are 15 girls on this team I’d feel comfortable throwing out there in any one of those spots. We trust our goalkeeper, we trust our players to come up big, and they were very calm under pressure.”
Green Valley made all four of its penalty kicks, and there was no need for a fifth after Kenzie Tillitt missed above the crossbar on Carson’s fifth attempt.
Allysa Hayes’ shot ricocheted off the crossbar on the Senators’ first attempt before Carson’s Emmy Heller, Jaime Perez and Kianha Pimental converted.
Imahara scored on an assist from Paulina Buskas in the 21st minute, but the Gators were unable to capitalize on other scoring chances.
A penalty-kick goal by Tillitt tied the match 1-1 in the 62nd minute.
Snyder said his team will be prepared for the championship.
“It’s fantastic. This is what we train for all year long,” he said. “The girls have worked so hard all year long, sweating through summer heat, all the pain and the long days and grueling games. It’s all worth it when you get a chance for that ultimate title.”
Arbor View 2, Coronado 0 — Bailee Davis and Chandler Yoder scored in the ninth and 76th minutes, respectively, as the Aggies eliminated the Cougars (12-7-2) in the other semifinal.
Davis, the Aggies’ only freshman, scored from the right side of the penalty box on an assist from Yoder.
“She’s been doing it all year,” Aggies coach Jay Howard said of Davis. “Chandler got the ball and dropped it back to her, and it was just a rifle. It was unstoppable.”
Breanna Larkin assisted on Yoder’s goal in the 76th minute.
Arbor View senior Hayley Fife posted a three-save shutout.
Faith Lutheran 1, Elko 0 — Moments after Dani Tharaldson’s winning goal sailed into the back of the net, Faith Lutheran coach Steve Morrill had one request.
“Where are the antacids?” Morrill said. “Good grief. It was one of those games where whoever lost it was going to really stink. Both teams just fought tooth and nail for it.”
In the third minute of the second overtime period at Heritage Park, Tharaldson ended the defensive struggle when she recovered her own shot off an Indians defender inside the box and laced the rebound into the back of the net.
“This is a great feeling,” the junior forward said. “Once it bounced back to me, I was like ‘This could be a goal.’ So I kicked it and it went in.”
Kelly Zufall notched the shutout for Faith Lutheran with nine saves.
The Crusaders (17-6-2) will try for their first state championship at noon today against Pahrump Valley.
Pahrump Valley 8, South Tahoe 3 — Sydney Sladek had three goals and two assists as the Trojans (21-2) dominated the Vikings (19-2-2).
Sladek, who set the Nevada single-season goal record, now has 79 goals and 28 assists this season.
“She is amazing; it’s a beautiful thing to watch,” said Trojans coach Pamela Larmouth. “She makes the sport just so exciting.”
After Desi Benavidez scored the game’s opening goal for the Vikings, Sladek scored back-to-back goals to put Pahrump on top, 2-1.
Kristen Young scored twice in less than a minute in the second half and Jenny McCaw also scored back-to-back goals for Pahrump.
Whittell 7, Adelson School 0 — The Warriors routed the Lions (1-12-1) in the semifinals.
Whittell will meet Incline, a 5-0 winner over White Pine, at noon today in the final.