Craig scores seven goals; Lady Jaguars to host BHS

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If Kaitlynn Craig played in certain adult softball leagues, and her goals were home runs, she would have gone over any five-homer limit Tuesday.

Craig scored seven goals in her Valencia High girls soccer team’s 10-0 home win over Grants on Tuesday. The win made the Lady Jaguars 10-6 overall and 5-3 in District 6-4A, and set up an important next-to-last match of the regular season at home against Belen at 11 a.m. Saturday

Kaitlynn Craig Scored seven goals in win over Grants

“We’ll be at home, but it’s like a neutral field, because we never seem to have the refs make a lot of calls in our favor,” said VHS coach Kimberly Chavez-Burkhard.

Belen is 7-1 in District 6-4A and in command of second place, but the Lady Jaguars are still fighting mainly for a state tournament bid. VHS ends the regular season with a Tuesday, Oct. 23 match at Los Lunas High.

Tuesday, Craig got the scoring started against Grants (6-9, 2-6) with an unassisted goal in the first minute. She put in a penalty kick about nine minutes later, and scored again in the 14th and 16th minutes. Jazirae Chavira and Brittany Piro assisted on Craig’s last two goals of the half, and Piro and Ashley Rubio scored before the match was even 22 minutes in.

Up 6-0 at the half, the Jags weren’t done. Norene Archuleta scored in the 50th minute, assisted by Craig, who scored in the 52nd and 75th minutes. Piro and Archuleta assisted on those two Craig goals.

Craig scored with only two minutes left on the clock, making a steal and scoring unassisted to bring the score to 10-0, ending the match by mercy rule.

Chavez-Burkhard said her team needs to start strong against Belen — more like the way the Jags did Tuesday, and less like they have in some other recent matches.

“Starting well is the key,” she said. “I told them I wanted a shot on goal within one minute, and a goal within two minutes.”

The Jaguars are without two injured goalkeepers, Haley Baca and Samantha Kear, so junior Faith Lucero got her first varsity start Tuesday. She made six saves and made a few other nice plays.

Other young Jaguar players got experience as well, including the “floaters” or part-time varsity players.

After Tuesday’s regular season finale at Los Lunas High, teams await seedings to be released. The 12-team Class 4A state tournament field will be announced Sunday, Oct. 28, with first-round matches to be played the following weekend.


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