The rematch is set.
Top-seeded Hope Christian and No. 3 St. Michael’s will meet in the girls Class 1A-4A soccer championship game today at 3:30 p.m., a replay of a game that the Huskies won 2-1 last season.
Hope advanced with a wild, 1-0 overtime victory over rival Sandia Prep on Friday at the APS Soccer Complex.
The Lady Horsemen came from behind for a 2-1 win over No. 2 Socorro in the other semifinal.
No. 1 HOPE CHRISTIAN 1, No. 4 SANDIA PREP 0 (OT): It took until the 88th minute for someone to finally break the scoreless deadlock between the district rivals.
Junior defender Emi Mondragon found herself in the right place at the right time as a loose ball fell to her feet just outside the box. Mondragon fired a curling shot into the upper right corner to send the Huskies (19-3) into a celebratory frenzy.
“All I could really think about was trying to get it in, to score a goal and win this game and get us to the finals,” Mondragon said. “It was just so much emotion everywhere.”
Hope coach Ronald Espinoza was almost at a loss for words after the goal.
“We were yelling at her to push up and push back. She was getting conflicting messages from us,” he said. “She finally got in, and that ball broke to her and she took the shot.”
The game leading up to that overtime goal was anything but pretty. Both teams were whistled for multiple fouls, numerous yellow cards were shown and neither team could possess the ball for what seemed like more than one or two passes in a row.
“Just bad ball control on both teams,” Espinoza said. “We couldn’t do anything right; they couldn’t do anything right.”
While the victory was sweet for the Huskies, the Sundevils (14-7) were left to rue what might have been.
“We asked our team to show up and do something big today and they did that,” Sandia Prep coach Gina Cormier said. “We took that team for (88) minutes and we had a shot.
“We just couldn’t finish.”
Hope only had so long to celebrate before today’s championship match.
“It’s going to be just like this; it’s going to be exactly like this,” Espinoza said. “It’s going to be a battle.”
No. 3 ST. MICHAEL’S 2, No. 2 SOCORRO 1: Junior Nique Enloe’s goal from 25 yards out in the 74th minute propelled the Lady Horsemen past the Warriors, previously the last unbeaten team in the state.
“I said, ‘You’re a forward, you need to turn and you need make something happen. You need to make something magical happen this second half,'” St. Michael’s coach Robyn Serge said. “And she did. She had that opportunity. She turned and hit it in the right spot, and it was beautiful.”
St. Michael’s (18-2-1) had the majority of the possession and the majority of the shots, only to be repeatedly denied by Socorro (20-1-1).
Kaylene Baca, an eighth-grader, had put the Warriors ahead in the 11th minute. Sophomore Tiana Baca then tied it up in the 31st minute with a goal similar to what Enloe would score later on.