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Prescott shuts out Cienega

Citizen Staff Writer



Last season, Cienega’s improbable run through the Class 4A Division I girls soccer tournament from the No. 15 seed to the state title game began with an upset of No. 2 Prescott.

Friday, Prescott got its revenge. No. 5 Cienega couldn’t overcome a pair of early goals, losing to No. 4 Prescott 2-0 at Tucson High.

“We came out a little flat and it cost us,” Cienega coach Tom Balderrama said. “Not to take anything away from the Prescott squad. They came out and took it to us. They got behind our defense and that was a result of us coming out flat.”

Cienega applied continuous pressure on Prescott keeper Briana Williams, outshooting Prescott 18-14.

“It was really hard for us not to (win),” said Nicola Hermes, who nearly curved a shot in the net in 33rd minute. “It was just a physical game all the way around. We tried to get right back at them . . . we’ve (been down) before, we knew we could come back, but it just wasn’t happening tonight.”

Lia Irwin scored into an open net when she received a long pass from Valerie Nagy in the penalty area for a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Seven minutes later, Michelle Andre scored to put Prescott up 2-0.

After the second goal, Cienega’s Cady Cartwright nearly cut the lead in half when she broke up Williams’ attempt to clear and gained possession with a wide open net, but her shot went wide left in the 21st minute.

“It’s disappointing to go out as early as we did,” Balderrama said. “Their expectation was high, and playing at such a high level and (having) managed to make the state championship game two years running, it’s tough to keep them grounded. We struggled today.”

Class 1A/2A/3A

The Pusch Ridge boys and girls soccer teams play in the small school quarterfinals Saturday in Tempe.

The boys team was a 6-1 winner Friday in Tempe over Yuma Catholic. The girls team received a bye into Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Prescott girls shut out Cienega

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