The Roswell Lady Coyotes and Goddard Lady Rockets both kicked off their 2017 campaigns with shutout victories Friday at the Alien City Soccer Tournament at the Cielo Grande soccer fields.
Temperatures were still hovering around 90 when both games began around 5 p.m., with the Lady Coyotes coming out hot, scoring three first half goals against Silver — one each from junior Kaileigh Holloway, Ashley Dunn and Clarinda Faust.
On the west field, the Lady Rockets — a young team that lost 16 seniors from last season’s squad — needed a little time to work out the kinks.
“This is a very young team,” said Lady Rocket coach Jaime Martinez. “They had the first game jitters. (Ruidoso) is a tough, aggressive team and I think we were a little gun shy at first.”
In the second half, the air cooled and the wind picked up as the Lady Rockets made the necessary adjustments and scored two quick goals in the first few minutes of the period — one from Val Hernandez and another from Montana Miranda just a couple minutes later.
“In the second half we finally got it going and once we scored, I started putting in a lot of different girls, changing them out and seeing how they work in different positions,” Martinez said.
Back on the east field, Roswell kept pouring it on as senior forward Danielle Banda scored two goals in front of the net and senior Yajarya Castillo hit a long goal that snuck perfectly between the crossbeam and the outstretched arms of the Silver goalkeeper.
“We have multiple scorers, and it’s nice to have several players that can get it done and not just the forwards,” said Lady Coyote head coach Samantha Ward. “Kind of a sluggish start, but not bad, and they finished.”
Ward said her players know the importance of winning at home, especially with a long road stretch looming.
“We have six home games and then we’re away for nine,” she said. “The girls know all these games, especially on our home field, are important and they want to set the tone this weekend.”
Roswell played two keepers — Maddie Battle in the first half and Emileigh Lara in the second — while Goddard stuck with Emily Mathison. None of the three were challenged much.
The Lady Rockets face Valencia while the Lady Coyotes take on Artesia today. Both games start at 11 a.m. at Cielo Grande. If both home squads can advance from the morning contests, they will face off at 3:30 p.m. for the Alien City Soccer Championship. If either team loses, they will play in the third-place game at 3 p.m.