Blogs / Features
Don KetchumStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Pinnacle girls take home trophy in Arizona Soccer ShowcaseDec 31, 2012
HERE COMES 13.
Seems kind of ominous, doesn’t it?
The girls’ soccer team from Phoenix Pinnacle High isn’t worried. They welcome the challenge, in fact.
It was only about two weeks ago when the Pioneers lost their head coach, Kacey Bingham, who took the head-coaching job at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah.
Former assistant Adam Chrestman now is the team’s field boss, and he helped the team finish out the 2012 portion of the schedule on a solid note.
Pinnacle earned the championship trophy on Monday (Dec. 31) in the Arizona Soccer Showcase at the Scottsdale Sports Complex with a 1-0 victory over Gilbert Highland.
The way the Pioneers played in the last three games of the tournament was significant.
In addition to defeating Highland, the defending Division I champion, there was a 3-1 triumph over a strong Phoenix Desert Vista team in the semifinals earlier on Monday, and a 1-0 win over Division I runner-up Chandler Hamilton in the quarterfinals on Saturday (Dec. 29).
“You have to take into consideration that it’s still December, and that we are going to have a target on our backs from now on, but I’d say we are headed in the right direction,’’ Chrestman said.
Pinnacle scored its goal in the second half. Junior Jorian Baucom fired a shot from the right side that was deflected by the Highland goalkeeper, and sophomore Lily Brown was in the right place at the right time and sent the ball into the back of the net.
“We’re kind of a small team, but we show a lot of mental toughness,’’ Chrestman said.
“They’re (Highland) definitely a strong team, but we were able to hang with them.
“This can be a very tricky, very brutal sport. You can dominate a team for most of a game, but if you take even the smallest of breaks, say seven 10 seconds or so, you can be scored on.’’
He also paid tribute to his back-line defenders and goalkeeper.
Ali Lixandru did a good job digging the ball out of the corners, and Jessica Carpenter helped control the ball in the middle of the field.
Highland made several attempts in the last few minutes. The Hawks were called offside on one break. Another shot was just wide to the left and a header by Makkel Parot went just over the goal.