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Lady ‘Dogs tie with Rockets, need win Thursday over ‘Cats

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After topping the Lady Rockets of Goddard 2-0 in their first meeting Oct. 5 at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex, the Lady Bulldog soccer team headed to Roswell Saturday with a clean sweep in mind.

But as is always the case in District 4-AAAA play, repeating an outcome isn’t easy against quality competition. And while the Artesia girls battled tooth and nail, in the end, their penultimate Round Two bout came out a draw, 0-0.

Through 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute sessions of overtime, the Lady ‘Dogs and Lady Rockets fought, each hoping to be the first squad to notch that elusive first goal. And while the Artesia girls had the most opportunities in the final 40 minutes of cumulative play, they just couldn’t breach the back of the net.

“Goddard had a lot more opportunities in the first half,” head coach Tim Trentham said Saturday. “We spent the majority of the half on our side of the field. They weren’t really getting any good shots off, but they were keeping us pinned back.

“Later in the first half, we started stretching the field and things kind of evened out. And then the second half was the same way — they kind of dominated possession for the first aprt, and thing things settled down for us and we were finally getting some really good opportunities and keeping them pinned.”

During the first session of overtime, the Lady Bulldogs had perhaps the best look of the match, but the ball careened off the crossbar.

“That should’ve put the game away,” said Trentham. “For the last 20 minutes of the second half all the way through both overtimes, we were playing really, really well. [Keeper] Kinsley [Rodriguez] came up big for us. On our end, we had some good shots and quite a few corners, but we just couldn’t capitalize. Neither team was able to finish.

“But that says a lot for both defenses and both goalkeepers. I think it was a pretty good back-and-forth game. They had one really good look and we did, too, and that was about it for both teams. It was the kind of game you expect when a lot’s on the line.”

With the tie, the Lady Bulldogs move to 10-7-2, 3-1-1 on the season, while Goddard moves to 10-6-2, 3-1-1. Lovington (4-12-1) is currently in third at 3-2 and Portales (4-8-1) in fourth at 0-5. And while Artesia and Goddard currently sport the same district mark, on the legs of their previous win over the Lady Rockets, the Lady ‘Dogs have their fate in their own hands.

“We still control ourselves destiny-wise,” Trentham said. “All we have to do is win against Lovington and we win district. The score doesn’t matter — we just need a win.”

Artesia and Lovington will clash at 6 p.m. today in Lovington, and the Lady Bulldogs will be zeroed in on eliminating the mistakes that led to a 2-1 upset at the hands of the Lady ‘Cats Oct. 12 at The Mack.

“Like we’ve told them, if you want the glory, you’ve got to take care of business,” said Trentham. “It’s one game, and there’s nothing after it. If you want your season to continue, this is how you do it.

“I think this Goddard game was a good rebound for us. We had two kind of poor games in a row, but we played well today, and if we keep playing like that against Lovington, we should be in good shape.”

Brienne Green
Daily Press Editor

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