For nearly three years, Coronado goalkeeper Kaitlyn Fahrner has befuddled Green Valley’s girls soccer team.
Alex Adams solved the mystery Thursday.
Adams scored a goal in the 55th minute to lift the host Gators past the Cougars, 1-0 and hand Coronado its first loss of the year.
“Any time you can get a goal on Coronado, it’s big,” Green Valley coach Roy Snyder said. “Any time Kaitlyn Fahrner is in the net, you’re going to have a tough time scoring. She’s a great goalkeeper, and she’s had our number the last few years.”
The Gators hadn’t scored a regulation goal against Coronado since Dec. 17, 2009, a streak that included last season’s Sunrise Region final — which Green Valley prevailed on penalty kicks.
After a scoreless first half, Fahrner made an easy save on a shot by Green Valley’s Cassidy McLean in the 54th minute, then punted the ball back to midfield.
But the ball landed near Jordyn Penniman, who dished to Adams as the 5-foot-4-inch senior striker sprinted down the left sideline and cut at the edge of the 18-yard box to lob the winning shot over Fahrner’s head for the Gators (9-4-1, 4-0 Southeast)
“It was a big moment, and Alex came through,” Snyder said. “She’s somebody who has been on the verge since she was a freshman.
“She was surprised, but honestly, that’s a shot she’s been hitting in practice. She can burn people down the lane; she’s a sprinter, and has amazing speed. Her problem was never getting the ball in space, but what she did once she got it there.”
It was only the second goal of the season conceded by Coronado (5-1-1, 3-1), which has shut out each opponent except for a 3-1 win over Palo Verde on Dec. 8.
Coronado nearly came back, when Nia Moreno settled a long ball in the 74th minute and blasted a shot on frame. But Green Valley goalkeeper Nicole Dunn made a reflex save to keep the ball in play.
Amy Madden lifted a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box with three minutes to play, but the shot sailed inches over the crossbar to give the Gators the win.
Dunn finished with five saves for Green Valley, and Fahrner stopped four shots for the Cougars.
“She makes the big save,” Snyder said of Dunn, a junior who transferred from Foothill. “She’s the kind of kid who comes up big in moments you might not expect her to. She really rises to the occasion.”