The shutout-or-bust season for Corona del Sol's girls soccer team continued Saturday afternoon with Division II-power Flagstaff in town.
Corona scored two first-half goals and its defense was stellar from start to finish in dealing Flagstaff a 2-0 loss at the auxilary soccer field at Corona del Sol.
Corona, resting at No. 12 in the latest D-I power rankings, is on the plus-side record wise. The Lady Aztecs improved to 9-5-2 overall and 8-2 in power-ranking matches. All 16 of Corona's matches have been shutouts — win, lose or draw. The last four results have been the former. Flagstaff dropped to 10-5-3 and suffered its first power-ranking loss (8-1-2). Flagstaff entered the game No. 5 in the D-II rankings.
“We've been scoring early in games lately,” Corona del Sol coach Matt Smith said. “Our belief is strong we're not going to give up a lot, so getting up in a game by one makes us feel good. By two even better.”
Corona didn't waste much time breaking on top. In the eighth minute, Corona's Siena Fireside began a picturesque goal with a nice cross directly in front of the net. Teammate Emily Bordow met the cross solidly, drilling the back of the net with a header. It was the fourth game in a row Bordow has scored,
“The last three games we've started with that same type of goal,” Smith said.
In the 25th minutes, Corona finished the scoring for the day on a set piece. Hannah Rowe lofted a corner perfectly in front of the net that bounced off Maddie Wolf and was tapped in by Bridget Manning. At the point Smith was feeling quite good, although he was having trouble verbalizing all afternoon with a scratchy throat.
“We've had some games that (keeper) Lexi (Bounds) has been the difference in,” Smith said. “Our defense has also played well. Today, defensively we didn't need much from Lexi. Our defense did the job.”
Flagstaff managed just six shots and it might be a stretch to say Bounds had two saves. Nothing Flagstaff fired at Bounds was remotely close to a goal. The Lady Eagles, however, didn't have much turnaround time from their match on Friday, a 3-0 triumph in Prescott. They had to return to Flag, get up early and head south for the three-hour ride to the East Valley on Saturday morning. Travel and temperatures in the upper 70s weren't a a good mix for the visitors.
“Flag's a very good team,” Smith said. “They've played some tough teams. They tied Xavier and Chaparral and have played some other top (D-I) teams tough. This was a good win for us.”
Corona del Sol closes its season with two playoff contenders next week — Desert Vista and Ironwood Ridge. Flagstaff raps up its season with matches at North Canyon and city-rival Coconino.