Blue Griffins girls win 2-1 in OT
The Santa Fe Prep girls soccer team could not find the right speed on Thursday night.
When the Blue Griffins needed to speed up the tempo against Capital in both teams’ season opener at Jaguar Field, they slowed down. When they needed to slow down, they sped up.
It finally came together in the first overtime, and Anna Swanson’s golden goal in the final minute gave Prep a 2-1 win. Swanson found the right speed, breaking away from the pesky Capital defense, putting a shot on goal and redirecting the deflection into the lower corner.
Swanson had both goals for Prep. Head coach Steph Coppola said the team never really got into a rhythm to get everybody involved.
“I will take nothing from Capital, but we did not play our game,” Coppola said. “We were very panicky and sped the game up when we needed to slow it down. Then, we stayed back on our heels when we needed to pick things up. And we don’t play well on turf early in the season. The ball moves differently and bounces different, and we don’t adjust quickly.”
Coppola also credited Capital’s style of play, as the Lady Jaguars were aggressive and quick to the ball.
“They hustle and they have some girls who can manage the ball well,” Coppola said. “And they have a good goalkeeper, a real brave one who made a ton of saves today.”
Prep doesn’t have much time to make adjustments as it plays Los Alamos, last year’s Class 5A runner-up that is now in 4A, at Sullivan Field on Saturday.
Capital 2, Santa Fe Prep 1
The Blue Griffins were on the defensive in the first half, and they held Capital scoreless.
When they decided to push forward and challenge the Jaguars, it opened up scoring opportunities for the visitors in both teams’ season opener at Sun Mountain Field. Capital took a 1-0 lead early in the second half before Oliver Lehman tied the score for Prep when he redirected a shot off a corner-kick deflection.
Capital responded with a goal with 10 minutes left and Prep couldn’t counter. Blue Griffins head coach Hersch Wilson said conditioning played a factor, as he lost a few players to cramps.
“We have a small roster, and two of our ninth-graders cramped up and one of our juniors started to cramp up, as well,” Wilson said. “We were the walking wounded. They were all mad at me that I didn’t bring the pickle juice [to counter the cramping issue].”
Prep plays host to Los Alamos at Sun Mountain Field at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.