Jasmine Stokes leads Palo Verde to invitational championshipby Andy Morales on Dec. 22, 2012, under Sports
There were moments during the championship match between Palo Verde and Marana when Jasmine Stokes turned up field only to find three defenders and a goalie standing between her and another goal. In any other sport or for any other athlete, the correct move would be to pull up and wait for help. The thing is, Stokes is not any other athlete.
Stokes set the school record for goals last year with 51 in 26 games while leading her team to a runner-up finish in the state Division III championship match (3-2 overtime loss to Estrella Foothills) and she had run her career goal mark to 115 prior to the championship match of the Palo Verde Invitational Saturday afternoon.
Of her 29 goals scored this year prior to Saturday, 10 were scored during the first three games of the invitational on the back of three hat tricks in a row. Had it not been for a controversial reversal of one of her goals against Marana, Stokes would have had another hat trick.
Stokes broke free of the defensive pressure in the 11th minute but her one-on-one shot against Marana keeper Amanda Teran flew over the goal but she cashed in on a pass from Ashley Quiros in the 30th minute to give Palo Verde a 1-0 lead.
Marana was also on a scoring binge in the tourney with 18 goals scored against only 2 given up in three pool games but they had difficulty finding the net Saturday.
Stokes broke free again in closing seconds of the first half and she let a shot fly prior to the horn going off but the goal was not allowed because it was ruled the clock had expired prior to the sound of the horn, much like the rule in the NBA.
Stokes had another shot in the 55th minute but it flew wide left but Taylor Kruse passed through the defense in the 66th minute and Stokes was able to score again to give Palo Verde a 2-0 lead and the win.
Her goal total now stands at 31 for the year and 117 for her career. The future California Baptist forward simply said she was tired after the championship match. “I have a sore muscle and I’m tired,” explained Stokes.
“But I never really think about scoring because the it would get in my head. We came so close to winning state last year and getting back there is my only focus.”
Cholla met Amphitheater in the 5th place game earlier in the day and the Chargers came out on top 3-1 thanks to a hat trick by Arianna Larribas.
Larribas scored on an assist from Anjelica Corral in the 47th minute and she added another goal in the 57th. Her final unassisted goal came in the 68th minute.
Kiki Stine found Ashley Veytia up the middle in the 74th minute to give Amphi its lone score of the match. Stine played her last match for the Panthers because she is moving to the Phoenix area during the winter break.
Nogales beat Douglas 2-1 in the 3rd place game later in the day on two goals from Karina Suarez. Suarez scored unassisted in the 16th minute on a rebound off of the goalie to give Nogales a 1-0 lead but Douglas tied it up in the 57th on a goal from Teresa Salazar (Erica Romero).
Suarez scored her second goal on an assist from Alexis Aguire in the 66th minute for the game winner. Suarez had her chance for a hat trick moments later but her shot was blocked.
Palo Verde coach Jim Mentz hosted an alumni game of his former players after the title match, including current University of Arizona standout LeeAndra Smith and his current assistant coach and former Pima standout Deidre Hartman.
Palo Verde Invitational
Wednesday, December 19
Palo Verde 7, Cholla 2
Marana 5, Douglas 0
Thursday, December 20
Palo Verde 9, Amphi 0
Nogales 3, Douglas 0
Marana 5, Cholla 2
Friday, December 21
Marana 8, Amphi 0
Nogales 2, Cholla 0
Douglas 9, Amphi 0
Palo Verde 4, Nogales 2
Saturday, December 22
5th place: Cholla 3, Amphi 1
3rd place: Nogales 2, Douglas 1
Palo Verde 2, Marana 0