Injury mars VHS girls loss; district play about to begin

........................................................................................................................................................................................

A frightening injury seemed to both help and hurt the Valencia High girls soccer team Friday.

Harold Smith-Mountain View Telegraph: Carisma Lovato won the girls race at the Albuquerque High Invite on Saturday, and her Valencia High girls cross country team placed second. Both VHS squads are set to compete Friday in the Socorro Stampede at the New Mexico Tech Golf Course.

About 10 minutes into the second half of the Lady Jaguars’ match at Manzano, Miranda Kittridge collided with a much larger Monarch player, suffering a second-half concussion. She was helped to the bench and eventually had to be transported to a hospital by ambulance.

Class 4A Valencia went on to lose to the Monarchs, 2-0.

The Jaguars trailed 1-0 when the injury happened, according to VHS coach Kimberly Chavez-Burkhard, and gave up another goal about 10 minutes afterward. The ambulance arrived with about 10 minutes left in the match, and Chavez-Burkhard said her team played spirited soccer in the 10 minutes once play was resumed.

“The girls were very upset,” said Chavez-Burkhard. “But we did get several shots on goal in the last 10 minutes, after the ambulance left.”

The Lady Jags were set to face Valley on Tuesday after News-Bulletin press time. Their next match will be their District 6-4A opener, as they play Gallup High on the road at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The loss at Manzano was Valencia’s first defeat of the season, dropping the Jags’ record to 4-1. The Monarchs (3-4) scored in the first nine minutes of Friday’s match, said Chavez-Burkhard.

“We had a few lineup changes, and I don’t know if that’s what shook us up, but we came out very weak,” said the coach. “We weren’t talking, and we were walking the ball up the field. We were just watching and reacting.”

Chavez-Burkhard said her team had been playing with more intensity in the early part of the second half, just before Kittridge’s injury occurred.

The coach said VHS senior Jazirae Chavira was trying to chase down a Manzano player along the west sideline. Kittridge stepped in front of the larger player, and the two collided, with Kittridge appearing to hit her head on the opponent’s upper torso.

“Both of them and Jazirae all collided, and several players fell down on the play, so I couldn’t see everything that happened,” said Chavez-Burkhard.

The coaches and players on the bench were on the far sideline, whereas spectators were close to where the injury happened. She said at least one parent mentioned Kittridge might have also caught an elbow or knee from a player that fell on top of the VHS defender.

Kittridge was helped the bench, and answered all of the trainer’s questions, but in the ensuing minutes, said the coach, she kept ‘nodding off,’ as if she were about to pass out.

“That’s when we called the ambulance,” she said.

Kittridge suffered a major concussion and a knee injury on the play. She was treated and released from the hospital, and more tests were planned to determine the extent of her injuries.

Once the ambulance arrived, the two teams knelt and held hands in a circle, away from Kittridge, stopped presumably to wish good health for her.

The Jaguars had eight shots on goal in the match, but Manzano goalkeeper Samantha Garcia stopped them all. Chavez-Burkhard seemed pleased with how the day revealed how closely knit her team has become.

“This shows how close they are,” she said.


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