Lady Jaguars improve to 4-0 by blowing out Del Norte

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Valencia girls soccer coach Kimberly Chavez-Burkhard has been waiting for some team to challenge the undefeated Jaguars.

Mike Stearns-News-Bulletin photo: leading the attack for the Lady Jaguars is senior Jazirae Chavira, who scored twice in Valencia’s 9-1 win over Del Norte on Tuesday. Valencia visits Valley at the APS Soccer Complex on Tuesday for a match scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Del Norte (1-4) didn’t challenge Valencia (4-0 after Tuesday) on the scoreboard, losing 9-1, but they did present the physical challenge that the Valencia coach had been looking for.

“The score didn’t reflect how well they played,” said Chavez-Burkhard. “They were a very physical team, and we had not played a team like that. I want to schedule some more of these 4A teams that are bigger like that.”

Valencia continued the trek through the Albuquerque-area schools portion of their schedule, visiting Manzano in a game scheduled after the News-Bulletin went to press.

The Jags are against Valley at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday before opening District 6-4A play at Gallup on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Chavez-Burkhard is hopeful that the Jags might add some games to the schedule, even at this late date. The coach noted that Valencia was four matches short of a full schedule.

Against Del Norte, Valencia struck very early with a goal from Kaitlyn Craig just 53 seconds into the match.

Norene Archuleta scored five minutes later on a feed from Samantha Lucero.

Archuleta slid under the tackle from Knight defender Jessica Scherrer, just beating the athletic Del Norte player to ball with her left foot. It shot past the goaltender for a spectacular goal.

Valencia added two goals each from Craig and Jazirae Chavira to lead 6-0 at the half.

Kristina Contratto took a pass from Craig in the 45th minute to put the Jags up, 7-1.

Del Norte scored its only goal in the second half when two defenders closed on Sasha Portillo near the head of the penalty box.

Portillo reversed field, splitting the two defenders and trickled a ball through the legs of goalkeeper Haley Baca, who had come up to defend from the goal line.

“Last game we had some miscommunication and it happened again,” said Chavez-Burkhard of the one goal Artesia scored against Valencia.

“Everyone back there needs to get on the same page. Obviously, they (Del Norte) capitalized on it.”

Archuleta scored the final two Jaguar goals to put the decisive win in the books.

Savannah Lucero had three assists and Brittany Piro had five saves in gaol during the first half. Baca added five saves in the second half.

It was the first time the Jags had beaten the Knights, who won all four meetings during the two years VHS was a member of District 5-4A.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.