By GANNON HANEVOLD
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School Girls’ Soccer team has been on the rise in recent years. They seem to have hit their peak at just the right time: just two weeks before the playoffs. With their last loss weeks ago against SECTA, a team they’ll see again, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Pirate soccer.
Last week, the team played two games. The first came at home against the Del Sol Dragons.
Earlier in the season, the Pirates traveled to Del Sol and were shocked at the closeness of the game. The Dragons held on tight with the Pirates and the final score would be a narrow 1-0 in favor of Moapa.
This time around, things played out differently. Early on, Christie Eriksen scored two goals to give the Pirates an early lead. Goals by Bailey Bunker and Natalie Mills gave Moapa a comfortable 4-0 advantage halfway through the game.
In the second half, the team continued its dominance. Italia Bracamontes scored to make it 5-0, and then Lexi Schraft put together a second half hat trick to end the game early with an 8-0 final score.
“They played the game the way I knew they should have played to begin with,” said Pirates head coach Lisa Cornwall of her team. “I just think they relaxed and knew what they needed to do.”
On the topic of goals coming from various sources, Cornwall added, “If you look at our stats, we have a couple of girls that have scored more. But goals are coming from all over, so it is really nice to know we have that capability.”
The second game of the week came on the road against Boulder City. The Pirates came out and gained a 2-1 lead in the first half, thanks to two goals from Christie Eriksen. With the game still too close for comfort, Moapa needed a second half goal to seal the deal. Sure enough, Eriksen delivered once more with a goal that made it 3-1 and gave her another hat trick to her season total. The Pirates would hold on to win by that score.
As an exchange student, Eriksen’s addition has been crucial for the Pirates. “For so long, we have had a couple of players that were the only ones that we depended on as far as finishing,” she said. “With the addition of Christie, now everyone can just play their spot. She helps complete everything.”
Cornwall was excited by her team’s performance. “As far as defense, towards the end of the game the team was clicking together,” she said. “They were backing each other up. There was a lot of communication going on and they really want to get that first spot.”
The first spot Cornwall mentions is the top seed in the Division 3A Sunrise. It would be the first time the Pirates have held such a title. As of right now, they are in a tie with SECTA with 23 points apiece.
But one matchup between the two remains on the schedule for the Pirates. That game will be on Wednesday in Moapa Valley,
“Last year, they beat us really bad at the beginning of the year,” Cornwall said. “That last game is a fight for that division spot. In the past, we were just fighting to get any seed, and now we want positioning. We know if we lose we’re still in, but we really want that number one. It’s something the team has never done before.”