Lady Jags get another chance to beat Miyamura

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When the Valencia High girls soccer team hosts its much-anticipated 11 a.m. match against Miyamura on Saturday, it would help if the Lady Jaguars start the way they did Tuesday.

The Lady Jags posted a 9-0 home win over Gallup on Tuesday, scoring in the first two minutes of the District 6-4A match. It was exactly the type of feel-good, complete victory the Jags needed going into one of their most anticipated matches of the season.

The Jags, who are 9-5 overall and 4-2 in district, are set to host an 11 a.m. match Saturday against Miyamura, who beat them 1-0 in Gallup on Sept. 25.

"I told the girls that I want a shot right away, and I want a goal," said VHS coach Kimberly Chavez-Burkhard, regarding the Gallup match. "And we did that. The Miyamura (Sept. 25), Kirtland and Gallup games were our three best games of the season. We passed the ball really good."

Kaitlynn Craig and Norene Archuleta each scored four goals Tuesday. Craig got the scoring going in the second minute, getting a through-pass from Jazirae Chavira and beating the goalkeeper of the Bengals (4-12, 0-6).

Craig assisted fellow senior Archuleta on the second goal on what Chavez-Burkhard called a "shot/pass." Craig would go on to score in the 17th minute on a Savannah Lucero assist, and the Jags took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

Vanessa Sanchez assisted on Craig's first goal of the second half. Archuleta scored two unassisted goals; eighth-grader Savannah Lucero added one of her own, and Chavira and Craig both assisted on Archuleta's other goal, Chavez-Burkhard said.

Senior Brittany Piro played the entire match at goalkeeper, making two saves, as Haley Baca is out with a concussion, the coach said. So is sophomore Kristina Contratto, who was still awaiting a diagnosis on a knee injury suffered in the Jags' Oct. 2 loss at Belen.

The Jags have been chipping away at trying to get their first-ever win against Miyamura. The Lady Patriots (10-6, 6-0) are the two-time 6-4A champions, and reached last year's Class 4A state semifinals.

Valencia generated plenty of offensive attack in the Sept. 25 loss, but simply couldn't score.

VHS also has a 4 p.m. home match against Grants and a Saturday, Oct. 20 rematch with Belen, but the Miyamura match is likely foremost in the players' minds.

"The girls are pumped," said Chavez-Burkhard. "We showed in the Gallup match that we finally have our crap together. The girls want this one."


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