BLUE GRIFFINS are ready to take on arch-ri­val St. Mike’s

BLUE GRIFFINS TAKE NEAR-PER­FECT RECORD TO MATCH WITH ARCH-RI­VALS ST. MIKE’S

Albuquerque Journal - - JOURNAL NORTH - BY GLEN ROS­ALES FOR JOUR­NAL NORTH

The Santa Fe Prep girls soc­cer pro­gram can stake a claim un­like ev­ery other soc­cer pro­gram in the state.

The Blue Griffins are the only team with­out a loss. That’s right, there’s a big goose egg un­der the L col­umn of their record. Their only blem­ish thus far is a 2-all tie with Bosque School on Aug. 29. Head­ing into Satur­day’s match with Monte del Sol, Santa Fe Prep is 11-0-1.

“It’s re­ally cool,” said ju­nior for­ward Lynn Robey. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a sea­son like this. The last cou­ple of years have been rough, and this year it feels like it’s all com­ing to­gether.”

In­deed it has been, but the big test comes Mon­day when the Griffins face arch-ri­val St. Michael’s. It is a rematch of their 5-3 win last month that ended a Santa Fe Prep vic­tory drought against the Lady Horse­men of 27 matches dat­ing back to the 2005 sea­son.

“It was amaz­ing,” se­nior cen­ter­back Ari­ane Talou said. “Ever since I was on the team in the eighth grade, the se­niors al­ways told that St. Mike’s was there and that they were the team we had to beat be­cause they were our ri­vals. In the eighth grade, it didn’t re­ally sink in, but beat­ing them my se­nior year was like a dream come true.”

So, of course, they had a rau­cous cel­e­bra­tion.

“Our coach brought donuts to prac­tice the next day,” Talou said with a chuckle. “We couldn’t dwell on the suc­cess. We had to just keep mov­ing for­ward.”

The sea­son has been all about mov­ing for­ward as the Griffins brought to­gether the ex­act same ros­ter as last sea­son — a group that reached the 1A/4A quar­ter­fi­nals be­fore los­ing to St. Mike’s.

“We all played to­gether last year, so the team dy­namic is re­ally strong and we all work to­gether re­ally well,” said Robey, who has 15 goals and 15 as­sists.

The big rev­e­la­tion has been fresh­man Anna Swan­son, who leads the state in scor­ing, with 38 goals — af­ter 17 last sea­son — and has got­ten at least one in ev­ery game ex­cept the Bosque draw.

“We have the scor­ing punch. Swan­son and Robey are a great tan­dem duo,” said Santa Fe Prep coach Stephanie Cop­pola. “They’re do­ing amaz­ing things on the ball. And we’ve been play­ing well de­fen­sively.”

In re­al­ity, she said, the team has been strong across the board.

“We’re a well-rounded team,” Cop­pola said. “We have a lot of good play­ers all over the field. We’re a solid team in ev­ery po­si­tion. We don’t have a lot of depth, but ev­ery player con­trib­utes.”

The coach kind of could see a strong sea­son com­ing.

“I knew we were go­ing to have a good sea­son be­cause we have a lot of re­turn­ing play­ers, be­cause we got into the quar­ter­fi­nals and we played pretty closely in that game,” Cop­pola said. “The girls worked in the off­sea­son. But I had no way of know­ing that they would come to­gether quite this nicely.”

All that be­ing said, no­body is hand­ing the Griffins any tro­phies just yet.

“We still have a ways to go yet,” Cop­pola said. “We’ve played some of the top teams, but not all of them. I’m hope­ful that we’ll con­tinue to im­prove ev­ery day.”

ED­DIE MOORE/JOUR­NAL

Santa Fe Prep’s Lynn Robey, cen­ter, bat­tles Taos’ Is­abella Padilla, left, and Ko­rah Garner dur­ing Tues­day’s match won by the Blue Griffins, 7-2.

Santa Fe Prep’s girls soc­cer coach Stephanie Cop­pola, cen­ter, talks to her team dur­ing half­time in Tues­day’s match against Taos.

Santa Fe Prep’s Blake Tre­visani, left, fires a shot between Taos’ Margot Goler and Marlen Stoes­sel for a score dur­ing the first half of Tues­day’s match.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.