Alleman edges MHS for regional soccer title
MENDOTA – The Mendota girls’ soccer team gave Rock Island Alleman everything it could handle before finally succumbing to the Pioneers, 2-0, in the championship game of the Mendota Class 1A Girls’ Regional Soccer Tournament on May 12 at the MHS field.
Alleman, which made it to the supersectional round in 2022, was able to control the ball for a majority of the contest getting numerous shots on goal in the first half, but Mendota goalie Naitzy Garcia was able to stop all of them and the two teams went to halftime scoreless.
The shots on goal were scarce for the Lady Trojans in the first 40 minutes except for one excellent opportunity that Crystal Garcia had, which wound up just to the left of the goal.
The scenario was much the same in the second half, with most of the game being played on Alleman’s end of the field, but time ticked away with neither team putting in a goal. That finally changed with just 12:12 left on the clock when an Alleman corner kick bounced around near the Mendota goal that was finally corralled by Alleman’s Sofia Sanchez, who booted it in for a 1-0 lead.
The Pioneers were able to pad their lead when Meredith Maynard scored at the 5:15 mark, and then Alleman was able to run out the clock on a regional championship.
“We came in knowing we wouldn’t get many scoring chances, so it was critical that we play good defense, and we did a great job,” said Mendota coach Nick Myers. “I could not be prouder of how our girls played defensively and how Naitzy played in goal. She was fantastic in stopping a barrage of shots to keep us in the game.”
The Mendota senior goalie ended the contest with an incredible 34 saves.
“When it was scoreless at halftime, we told the girls if we can get a breakaway for Crystal, we can win this game,” added Myers. “I was proud of how we were able to stay in the game for that long and give ourselves an opportunity to win.
“Alleman’s ball movement and knowledge of the game is phenomenal. To be able to play with them and give ourselves a chance to beat a quality team like that is going to give our girls a ton of confidence going into next year.”
The Lady Trojans, who concluded the season with a 9-10-1 record, only lose three seniors off of this year’s team – Naitzy Garcia, Emily Stewart and Flor Delao.
Mendota advanced to the regional championship after defeating Princeton, 3-0, in a semifinal-round game on May 9.
Janelle Rodriquez got the Lady Trojans on the board off an assist by Noemi Arteaga. Crystal Garcia had two goals on assists from Arteaga and Kaley Siemer.