Home Sports Local Sports Lady Coyotes face nemesis before quarterfinals

Lady Coyotes face nemesis before quarterfinals

Roswell Goalie Maddie Battle kicks the ball after a block during practice. The Lady Coyotes take on Artresia in a district match on Friday. (J.T. Keith Photo)

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In a season of an unlikely district title, Roswell’s coach Samantha Lawrence-Ward never lost faith in her team.

For that she was rewarded with her first district title since 2012. With a 5-1 record in district play and a defeat of previously unbeaten Artesia in district play, the victory allowed for the Coyotes to host a playoff game at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex at 5 p.m. Friday. For the first time in four years, another team from the district other than Goddard will have a chance to go claim the Blue Trophy.

At one point, the Lady Coyotes were 8-8 and went on a four-game winning streak. These cardiac Coyotes have won a number of one-goal games, defeating Goddard in their last home game of the season, 2-1. In their last game of the season for the district title, Roswell went on the road and had to come from behind to win against district leading Artesia, 1-0 on Oct. 14.

“Our goal was to go undefeated in district,” Lawrence-Ward said. “We knew we had to beat Artesia, and after we lost to them, we knew we had to win out. We knew in the last game against Artesia that if we won, we’d win out, because it goes against goals scored. We had Artesia beat on that, and the girls came to play”

The bad news for Roswell is it won’t be easy to beat the Lady Bulldogs for a second time in less than two weeks. With nine seniors playing for the Lady Coyotes, two seniors (Yajayra Castillo and Danielle Banda), have started all four years and have provided leadership down the stretch.

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“Being a starter for four years here has helped me grow as a person,” Banda said. “We knew it was going to be tough to win the district. Winning the district meant everything to us.”

The Lady Coyotes might have a marquee player in Banda, who is second in goals scored in the district, losing out to Artesia’s Elisa Cardenas. Cardenas has scored 21 goals to Banda’s 18, for the season. Also, able to score for Roswell is Kaileigh Holloway with nine goals, she also leads the team in assists. The glue to the team is goalkeeper Maddie Battle, who is first in the district with goals against averaging 0.935 to lead the district.

“Coming up to my senior year it is sad for me,” Castillo said. “To leave the girls I have played with for four years, but it is such a great experience with all these girls. Since my freshman year, I have always had a lot of pressure on me so, I’ve learned to handle it well. I’m not going to lie. I’m nervous, but me and my team, we’re prepared for them, and we’ll be ready for whatever is coming.”

Roswell plays Artesia at the Cielo Grande Soccer Complex at 5 p.m. Friday.