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Lady Aztecs reach new goals

By: Alex Zener

January 26, 2008   

The CdS girls soccer team had an outstanding holiday break, winning the Dobson Holiday Tournament, its second tournament championship so far this season, by beating Xavier 3-1 in the championship game avenging the team’s only loss this season.

The Lady Aztecs not only won the championship with a 6-0 record, but did it with astounding ease by attaining victories over Flagstaff, Highland, Mt. View, Red Mountain, Gilbert and Xavier scoring 22 goals to 4 by the other teams combined.

This season’s CdS team seemed to have found its identity over the break and is now poised to repeat its third run in as many years for the State 5A-I Championship.

“It will be a tough road, but we are prepared,” said Coach Matt Smith.

In addition to establishing itself solidly in the running, the team is starting to play more consistently, with several players stepping up their game during the Dobson tournament.

Courtney Mayers had a great week with 6 goals and 2 assists,” said Smith.

Brittany Cole had 3 goals and 6 assists,” said Smith. “Hailey Hayes, as goal keeper, had a good week with 3 shutouts and only giving up 4 goals. Alexis Burkhart had a solid week with 2 goals and 3 assists.”

Cole, Mayers and Burkhart play soccer positions, such as striker and midfielders, that give them opportunities to score goals but they are not the only positions that score on CdS’s team. It appears that defenders can also take shots at the opponent’s goals.

“The star of the tournament may have been junior Angela Williamson who, in addition to playing great defense, had 3 goals as a center back,” Smith said.

Corona’s record is currently 19-1-1 but may be 21-1-1 by the time you read this article. After the break, CdS won 6 matches outscoring their opponents 43 goals to 3.  The only teams to get anything past keeper Hayes was Mountain Pointe scoring 1 goal on Jan. 9, Desert Vista 1 goal on Jan. 11, and Mountain Pointe 1 goal on Jan. 18.

Mountain Pointe played a very inspired game and might have won in regulation on Friday night, Jan. 18, were it not for a couple of great saves by Hayes,” said Smith.

“We scored twice in the first 3 minutes of overtime, once by Angela Williamson and once by Lexie Schroeder.”

CdS only has two regular season matches left before the state tournament starts.

CdS plays at Desert Vista, Central Region co-champions with CdS last year, on Jan. 22. A win against DV would make them the Central Region champions for the fifth time in a row.

If they lose to DV, they must beat Basha at home on Jan. 24 to once again be co-champions with Desert Vista.

The match Jan. 24 will be the last regular season home match, and CdS will pay tribute to 10 senior players and their parents.

Seniors honored, in addition to Cole, who has over 200 points and is ranked number one as the all-time point leader in Corona girls soccer, passing Patti Reed Smith, include Mayers and Burkhart, who have both passed the 100-point mark, Nicole Burt, Sammie Lloyd, Nicole Javey, Este Rea, Lindsay Dorweiler, Megan Larson and Krista Hoffer.

If the Lady Aztecs prevail to three-peat and win the 5A-I state championship again this year, it will not only be a story-book ending for the senior girls, some who have played in the past two championships, but a grand going away present for assistant coach, Tyler Carpenter, who is retiring at the end of the year. Carpenter and Smith were assistant coaches at Mesa Dobson during the 1990s before Smith took over as head coach at Corona in 2000.

Carpenter joined Smith as one of Corona’s assistants in 2002.

Carpenter, who has helped the Corona girls soccer team win 120 out of 144 matches during his tenure, will leave a big hole to fill.

Says Smith, who won the Far East Region and Arizona State Big School Coach of the Year, was also a finalist for National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Girls Big School Coach of the Year:

“I will miss having one of my best friends there who is quick to notice and point out when I make a mistake.”


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