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Speedy Cavegirls move into Artesia finals

Four different players score against weary Spartans

 

It’s fairly obvious that Carlsbad’s girls soccer team has a couple of speedy forwards on its starting unit. The problem for Bernalillo, in a semifinal of the Artesia “A” invitational was that the Cavegirls had substitutes who were just as fast Friday afternoon.

At the Mack Chase Sports Complex, Carlsbad (2-0) dominated the Spartans and moved into the finals of the tourney for a second straight year.

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Sophomore Jade Branson, who would eventually tally a goal seven minutes into the second half, starts for the Cavegirls at left forward. When she comes out for a spell, it’s freshman Linzy Granger who spells her.

Both are very quick.

Bernalillo (1-1) lived dangerously over the first 30 minutes of the game, but had kept the game scoreless despite Carlsbad constantly in possession of the ball near the Spartans’ goal.

When Granger came into the game, she was given an opportunity to show her speed on a pass up the left side of the field. The ninth-grader chased it down and shot into the right side of the Bernalillo goal, with 10:51 left in the first half, for a 1-0 lead.

“When you have quick players like that, it puts the defense under extreme pressure. It creates a lot of things for us,” Carlsbad coach Misty Long said. “The defenders always have to be on their toes, when you substitute speed for speed, that it has to put a lot of pressure.”

“I’m not really good doing all these moves,” Granger said. “But I just do it really fast and they think I’m really good.”

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Following Granger’s initial goal, Carlsbad snuck in another goal just before halftime. With 20 seconds left, Cavegirls midfielder Maddie Bierle started a scoring sequence with a pass upfield. Branson took possession, passed the ball in the center to Missy Marshall – who shot into the mostly-open goal for a 2-0 lead.

After Branson scored herself seven minutes into the second half, the three-goal advantage stood pat until the clock read 7:45 left in the game.

That’s when sophomore Jordian Longoria, after several near-misses, got a shot past Bernalillo keeper Claudia Delara from 25 yards out for her first goal of the game.

“Just a little bit,” answered Longoria, asked if she was frustrated before one of her shots finally found net. “But I think our whole team does a good job encouraging each other to keep going.”

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 Last year at Artesia, Bernalillo played in the eight-team “B” invitational – generally composed of smaller schools than those found in the “A” bracket. Spartans coach Larry Baca said he didn’t mind being shoved into the tournament with the bigger schools this time around.

What might have bothered him more was that his team was playing its second game of the day while Carlsbad, a victor in the lone “A” quarterfinal staged on Thursday, was not.

“I think the girls put in a lot of effort and there was a lot of drain from the first game. Carlsbad got the night off and I think we did pretty well considering they (the Cavegirls) got a whole day’s rest,” Baca said. “It was a hot day, we had two or three hours off, so that was part of it.”

Back to the Bracket!!!

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Click here for the Artesia All-Tournament Team Selections!

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