Santa Fe’s historic run ended, Taos needed some stoppage-time heroics to advance and St. Michael’s earned the matchup it has been waiting for since the beginning of the season as the quarterfinal round of the girls State Soccer Championships concluded Thursday at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex.
The semifinals are set for today.
No. 4 TAOS 1, No. 5 BOSQUE 0: For Zoie Hensley, the road to today’s Class A-3A semifinals began long before her sharply struck kick from a seemingly impossible angle found its way to the back of the net to seal the win over the Bobcats.
That’s because Hensley, who had back surgery during the offseason, wasn’t even sure if she would ever walk again – let alone play soccer.
“Soccer is my whole life,” Hensley said. “When I had my surgery, the first thing that I wanted to do when I woke up was walk. So I walked 12 hours after my surgery – two whole days before I was supposed to. That just shows how much soccer means.
“… So it’s really, really emotional just being out here. But that just makes me play harder.”
Hensley’s game-winning goal came just moments into stoppage time. The Tigers senior began the attack from along the right sideline. Hensley, with a pair of defenders trailing, fired a shot from 18 yards out that sailed just inside the far corner post for the first and only goal of the contest.
“She was making a nice run and saw the angle,” said Taos coach Michael Hensley, who is also Zoie’s father. “I was also standing at the perfect angle where I could see what she saw. And as soon as it left her foot, I knew.”
While Taos enters today’s matchup against a heavily favored Hope Christian team, Michael Hensley, who led Taos to the title game in 2011, isn’t concerned – he’s already experienced bigger upsets. His Tigers were the first public school to play for an A-3A girls title, and besides: “There was even a point in August when I didn’t even want Zoie to play soccer again – my memory of her trying to relearn how to walk again was just so hard,” he said. “So for a while there, every time she stepped on the field, I’d cringe. But now, she’s back to her normal self. … So everything that happens from here on out is just a bonus.”
No. 2 ST. MICHAEL’S 5, No. 7 SANTA FE PREP 1: Five goals, five different scorers, just as Robyn Serge prescribed.
Serge, the former Bosque coach in her first-year leading the Lady Horsemen, has created a multifaceted team that has won 12-straight games against A-3A opponents, dating to a 2-0 loss to Sandia Prep. Now, coincidentally, the Lady Horsemen have the opportunity to avenge that 2-0 loss to the Sundevils in today’s semifinals.
“We finally get another chance to play them,” she said. “We lost to them in the third game of the season. … We’ve improved a lot since then and I’m sure they have too. They’re a very strong, physical team and it can go either way. Hopefully these girls aren’t nervous and get excitement after today’s win. It’s going to be a good match.”
Adriana Camarena gave St. Mike’s the early lead, scoring in the fourth minute, before the Lady Horsemen delivered an onslaught that effectively sealed the win.
“Our goal was to score first to build our intensity and get the momentum on our side,” Camarena said. “I think it worked.”
Beginning in the 26th minute, the Lady Horsemen scored three goals in the span of six minutes. Nique Enloe, Cristiana Gaboldon and Catie Ish scored to give St. Mike’s a 4-0 lead. SFP’s Brigid Quinn scored for the Blue Griffins just before the half. Monse Camarena concluded the scoring, recording her goal in the 61st minute.
No. 1 ALBUQUERQUE ACADEMY 3, No. 12 SANTA FE 0: The bad news was that the Demonettes’ historic run in the state tournament ended with a three-goal loss in the 4A quarterfinals to the top-ranked team in the state. But the way Santa Fe coach Keith Richards sees it, the good news is also that his 12th-seeded Santa Fe squad fell 3-0 to the top-ranked team in the state.
“We held them to one goal in the first half, which isn’t bad. We were just outgunned by them at every position as far as speed and athleticism was concerned,” he said. “They play soccer year- round and it shows. But we stayed in the game – 3-0 is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
This state tourney appearance was the Demonettes’ first in more than a decade. Santa Fe advanced to the quarters after a 3-0 win at No. 5 Los Lunas in the first round.
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