Both the Sahuarita and Walden Grove girls soccer teams have the playoffs squarely in their sights as the postseason approaches. The teams faced off last week in a non-conference match.
The Sahuarita girls soccer team traveled up Sahuarita Road for the game against the Red Wolves on Jan. 16. The Red Wolves scored early and held off a second half rally before putting the game away on a penalty kick. Harley Murphy scored on a free kick from Litycia Espinoza for the Mustangs’ lone goal in a 3-1 defeat. It was the first regular season loss for Sahuarita.
The next day, SHS celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 13-0 victory. All five playing seniors – Alicen Barney, Lacaya Harris, Breanne Harvey, Keyra Pereira and Espinoza – tallied goals.
They were recognized along with Ellie Franzone and their parents at halftime. Also scoring were Kambria Cash, Alexia Irigoyen, Maddie Peters and Murphy.
Sahuarita played its last regular season game Tuesday against San Miguel at Kino Complex, and brought home an impressive 9-0 victory.
Goals were scored by Lima Bracamonte (2), Murphy (2), Cash (1), Rienna Espinoza (1), Litycia Espinoza (1), Harvey (1) and Peters (1). Adi Santa Maria handled most of the game in goal to get credit for the win and the shutout.
As of Wednesday morning, SHS was ranked ninth and is set to take on the 24th ranked team in the state tournament play-in, at 6 p.m. on Jan. 31.
If the team improves to eighth or higher, it would skip the play-in tourney, and would host a game in the state tournament Feb. 6.
"Hard work on the practice field and excellent conditioning has made its mark on this squad and I am convinced the girls are mentally and physically prepared to give it their all in the next few weeks," said coach Roberto Franzone.
Walden Grove was ranked 9th with two games left to play as of Wednesday morning, after beating Palo Verde 4-1 on Tuesday.
The Red Wolves final home game is tonight at 6 p.m. against Pueblo, and the last game of the regular season is against Amphitheater on Jan. 29 in Tucson.
If the Red Wolves’ rank holds, they will host a playoff game on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. If they improve to eighth place or higher, they will play Feb. 9.