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Ironwood Ridge beats Rincon/University 1-0
Rincon/University hosted Ironwood Ridge in girls soccer Wednesday night, January 7, 2009. Ironwood Ridge defeated the Rangers 1-0.
Producer: VAL CANEZ/Tucson Citizen
Knowing that it takes four games in the playoffs to win a state championship, the Ironwood Ridge girl’s soccer team has divided its schedule into four-game segments.
After a 1-0 win Wednesday night over defending Class 5A Division II state champion Rincon/University, Ironwood Ridge is 2-0 in its current four-game block and improved to 13-3 on the season.
“This was an important game for us,” Ironwood Ridge coach Sean Watkins said. “We knew winning the region was going to come through Rincon based on last year’s results.
“. . . We know it’s four games to win the state championship. We have this goal each time to win four in a row.”
Wednesday’s win put the rest of the 5A-II Southern Division on alert.
Sarah McIntosh notched the game’s only goal in the 28th minute, scoring into an open net after Camie Barbera’s shot bounced off Amanda Brady’s hand.
“I was just following up on the shot,” said McIntosh, one of the Nighthawks three seniors. “I thought Camie had it. I saw the keeper fumble with (the ball) and I was able to be there for the rebound.”
Ironwood Ridge, second in the AIA’s 5A-II power rankings, lost 11 seniors from last year’s team that made the playoffs as a No. 15 seed.
Throughout Wednesday’s game, the Nighthawks’ speed consistently created problems for Rincon.
“It was a very intense game and we were a little panicked in the first 18 minutes,” Ironwood Ridge defender Chelsea Reeves said. “After the goal, we started connecting more passes and dominated Rincon.”
She prevented the game from going into overtime when she averted Rincon’s best scoring chance in the 54th minute.
After Nadine Merheb’s shot bounced off Ironwood Ridge keeper Brooke Seavitt, the rebound sat in the middle of the box and Tamara Pridgett had an opportunity to score, but Reeves cleared the ball before a shot was taken.
“I always drop back and think of myself as the second keeper,” Reeves said. “If anything, never let the ball go in. I got back there and got it out before a Rincon player could even get a foot on it.”
Rincon drops to 5-3 overall, 1-1 in league play. The game was Ironwood Ridge’s first in the region.
Salpointe 3, Tucson High 0: At Salpointe, Rebekah DeJonghe scored twice and Kelli Ford once as the Lancers defeated 5A-I Southern Division foe Tucson High.
Salpointe keeper Cat Lena and a strong Lancers defense pitched the shutout, helping the team improve to 11-3 and 1-0 in league play.
Tucson High drops to 6-6-2 overall, 0-1 in region games.
Cienega wasn’t a hospitable host Wednesday night.
The Bobcats outscored visiting Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep 24-1 in the first quarter en route to a 53-24 win.
Four Cienega players scored in double figures – Alyssa Deal (12), Becca Jaeger (11), Megan Placencia (10) and Ashlee Brawley (10).
Flowing Wells’ A.J. Koch scored a game-high 29 points on his home court Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough in a 68-59 loss to Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.
For more on high school sports, check out the Grammer School sports blog.