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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Artesia girls soccer wraps up district title with 2-0 win over Lovington

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Lady Bulldog head soccer coach Tim Trentham put his team’s situation to them simply last week following their scoreless tie with Goddard: “If you want your season to continue, this is how you do it.”

It was “beat Lovington, win district” Thursday on the road. And the Artesia girls did just that.

Punching a pair of goals into the net in the first half and maintaining their lead through the second, the Lady ‘Dogs secured the District 4-AAAA championship on the Lady Wildcats’ blue turf, joining the Bulldogs in an Artesia sweep of this year’s soccer titles.

“I thought we did an awesome job,” Trentham said Saturday. “We went out and just matched their intensity, and I think we started stronger than we have for most of the season. It usually takes us a little while to figure out that the other team’s ready to play, but the girls came out strong.”

Both of the Lady Bulldogs’ goals on the night came courtesy of sophomore Casey Dickson, who logged her first off a corner kick and her second from inside the box, assisted by freshman Maleyna Pando and eighth-grader Kaylee Berdoza.

Artesia had seven shots on goal in the bout to Lovington’s 11, with junior keeper Kinsley Rodriguez notching eight saves.

“Casey getting those two goals in the first half just really put Lovington on their heels,” said Trentham. “I think we came out knowing exactly what they were going to do. We’d kind of talked to specific players about some things, and the adjustments we made really shut down anything Lovington had offensively.

“We didn’t let them build any momentum in the game because that’s what they’d done to us at home. They took us out of our game by being physical, but we knew what to anticipate this time, and we were able to shut down their two players who’d caused us a lot of trouble in the first game.”

With the win, Artesia closes out their second season with a record of 4-1-1 and an overall mark of 11-7-2. They’ll learn their Class 4A state playoff seed around 3 p.m. today, and Trentham is hoping to see a different bracket outcome than what Artesia has experienced on multiple occasions in the past.

“I’m hoping we see somebody other than Goddard,” said the coach. “A lot of times, it feels like these matchups favor specific parts of the state, and until they make it transparent and record the meetings so the rest of us can see what they’re talking about and their reasoning, it’s going to keep feeling like that.

“If we end up having to play Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinals, I’m fine with that — just give us a chance, and Goddard a chance, to play someone other than a team we’ve just finished playing twice.”

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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