Like the other top teams across the state, Rehoboth girls’ soccer coach Eric Taylor wanted his team to remain perfect in district play.
Taylor said losing to Desert Academy last Friday might have cost them a state playoff bid. Instead the Lady Lynx was content on avoiding such a fate as they scored five unanswered goals to post a 5-1 win over the Santa Fe-based school.
Rehoboth earned the No. 12 seed in the New Mexico Class 1A/4A state tournament and they will play at No. 5 Bosque on Saturday with the winner advancing into next week’s quarterfinals.
“We were excited and we came ready to play, but they kind of surprised us,” Taylor said of Desert Academy. “They scored on us in the first three minutes and it was one of those fluke-like goals where it bounced over the keeper’s head.”
Things didn’t get any better as Rehoboth had a penalty kick go awry.
“The first half was almost over and we were down 1-0 so we were like ‘what’s going on?” Taylor said. “But that happens when you play people on their home field. Some of these girls have never played at Desert Academy but I have coached many district games there for years. I knew what to expect from the field.”
With an Astroturf field that is really small compared to other fields, Taylor said playing on that surface allows players to score goals a lot faster.”
“That might have a lot to do with it but we told them that we are district leaders and we needed to go out there and play like it,” he said.
They Lynx responded by scoring a goal to end the half. They added four more in the second with junior striker Julietta Sweeney leading the way with three goals. Seniors Fallon Blackbull and Melanie Francis added one goal each while senior goalkeeper Karralee Morgan finished with 12 saves.
“I am very proud of them,” Taylor said. “We scored some very good goals and they did their jobs. We stayed on the gas.”
Taylor said they are excited to be part of the state playoffs and the setup is exactly the same as last year with the same team and the same seed.
“We’re happy about that and it gives us a chance to do what we need to do,” he said. “I told the girls that we’re a not a one-dimensional team. It’s not like they can shut us down by covering one, two or three players. Everybody can score and everybody wants the ball. That’s the attitude and style of this team.”