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Kofa girls dominates possession in win over Cibola
It's hard to score when you don't touch the ball.
Besides an opening goal from Cibola senior midfielder Karina Cain, the Kofa girls soccer team dominated possession late in the first half and all of the second half leading to a 2-1 victory Friday night at Raider Field.
The Raiders came out hungry to start the game and were able to slip one by the sluggish Kofa defense in the 25th minute. Three minutes later, the Kings awoke. On a Kofa corner kick, junior forward Dania Gomez put away a rebound that finally ignited the Kings' offense.
“I hate the high school season timing because the winter break just kills any momentum you have going,” said Kofa coach Marisela Velasquez. “As much as you tell people you need to be here, everyone goes on vacation, so we lose a little bit of momentum and the connection we have.”
The momentum was regained in the second half for Kofa, who only let Cibola possess the ball on their side of the field a half dozen times. The Kings pounded the net and finally scored the go-ahead goal off the foot of junior midfielder Abigail Rosales.
“It was neck-and-neck like every game,” Rosales said. “Everybody wanted to score, and that goal just made everything better. My teammates just relaxed a little bit and calmed down a little bit. Then we did more possession and tried to get one more in. But it was unbelievable. I couldn't believe it.”
Rosales nailed the line drive shot from about 20 yards out, something she's no stranger to.
“I usually like doing it farther,” she said. “All I want to do is drill it in, and I was just like, whatever happens, happens. And luckily, it went in.”
Every win is crucial on the road to the state playoffs, and the victory over Cibola puts the Kings record at 11-2.
“We need to dominate and we need to do everything to win, because we need to win every game to go to state,” Rosales said. “That's our goal, and if we can't beat local teams, then we can't go anywhere else. So we try to give everything we have and just play our game.”
Despite the bombardment of shots in the second half, Cibola goal keeper Christena Taylor kept her team in the game every step of the way.
“Christena was on top of her game today,” said Cibola coach Joel Ibarra. “It helped reduce that margin and keep that margin low. Hopefully we get some girls healthy and get some girls back, and next time we'll be a little more prepared for that.”
Up next, Cibola travels to San Luis at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Kofa hosts Lake Havasu at 6 p.m. Tuesday.