Citizen Staff Writer
CLASS 5A DIVISION II GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
TEMPE – All Glendale Ironwood knew about Rincon/University before the Class 5A Division II girls soccer championship was it had to stop sophomore Tamara Pridgett.
After two scoreless halves and 3 1/2 scoreless overtime periods Saturday, Ironwood discovered it couldn’t do it.
Pridgett stepped up when it mattered most, scoring in the 107th minute to clinch the state championship.
“(Pridgett) was the only person we knew about,” Pinnacle coach Tim McKee said. “We don’t get the opportunity to see (Tucson teams often). She was the one that created a lot of trouble, so we concentrated on her.”
Ironwood frustrated Pridgett most of the night, even forcing her into drawing a second-half yellow card. But Pridgett, who last spring as a freshman won state track championships in the 100 and 200 meters, couldn’t be slowed all night.
“Everyone was pumped up and we knew we were going to get a goal,” Pridgett said. “. . . We all tried our hardest. I knew that I needed to hold on to (the ball) for a while and then shoot it at that last second.”
Pridgett broke down the wing and went one on one on goalkeeper Kelsie McCanna. Pridgett lured McCanna out of the box just far enough to lob the shot over her head and bounce it into the net in the second “golden goal” overtime.
“What an amazing win,” Rincon goalkeeper Samantha Flint said. “We came in knowing this was going to be a tough game. It’s an amazing feeling coming in as the sixth seed. . . . We had no expectations of being state champions this year, but our coaches continuously told us, ‘You guys can do it this year.’ “