Car­pio’s hat trick gives Academy 3 ti­tles in a row

Albuquerque Journal - - HIGH SCHOOLS - BY GLEN ROS­ALES

SANTA ANA PUE­BLO — Three was the magic num­ber for Al­bu­querque Academy on Fri­day in the Class 4A girls state soc­cer cham­pi­onship.

The top-seeded Charg­ers won their third straight blue tro­phy as mid­fielder Anna Car­pio led the way with three goals in a 4-1 win over Hope Chris­tian.

“It’s crazy,” Car­pio said about her hat trick. “It’s my last soc­cer game com­pletely and there’s no bet­ter way to end the sea­son. Three goals, three state cham­pi­onships. My last game. It just feels amaz­ing. I just want to thank ev­ery­one around me just for sup­port­ing me.”

Academy (21-2) handed the Huskies (18-3-2) their only losses, the first two com­ing in Dis­trict 6-4A play, in­clud­ing one in over­time.

And those games helped set the stage for this vic­tory, Charg­ers coach Peter Glid­den said.

“I think we learned in our pre­vi­ous games against them that they have a lot of speed,” he said of Hope. “They’re a re­ally dy­namic team on the wing. So we knew we had to keep pos­ses­sion, and we had to negate that op­por­tu­nity for them.”

So the game plan was to push for­wards Tessa An­der­son and El­iza Mariner to the out­side.

“We learned more than any­thing that if we were able to play our game and keep the ball down and get it wide to Tessa and El­iza, that would open up things for Car­pio,” Glid­den said. “And she just had a field day. She had a lot of space and she took ad­van­tage of her op­por­tu­ni­ties. A hat trick in the state cham­pi­onship game is pretty spe­cial.”

Both sides gen­er­ated early of­fense, but it wasn’t un­til Mariner put one away in the 26th minute fol­low­ing a scram­ble off a cor­ner kick that Academy re­ally be­gan to take ad­van­tage.

Then Car­pio went to work. In the 35th minute, An­der­son fed her a ball that she was able to put cleanly away. Then she added an­other one in the 51st minute when Mariner slid a per­fect through-ball that Car­pio knocked in.

In the 63rd minute, a toughangle shot car­omed off the cross bar right to Car­pio for the easy blast.

“They were our hard­est com­pe­ti­tion this en­tire sea­son, and we knew they were an equal match to us,” Car­pio said of the Huskies. “So I think what hap­pened, our team came with the right men­tal­ity and we knew we wanted this game. And we weren’t go­ing to think about any­thing else ex­cept fin­ish­ing this game and that re­ally helped us out.”

Academy was helped out by the play of sopho­more goal­keeper Lorelei Lo­gan, as well, who had four saves and re­cov­ered from what could have been a lin­ger­ing mis­take in the semi­fi­nals against Los Alamos. In that game, she mis-hit an at­tempt to clear a ball and in­stead fed it to an op­po­nent, lead­ing to an easy Hill­top­per goal.

“She came out with a great at­ti­tude (Fri­day),” Glid­den said. “She pushed ev­ery­thing aside from (Thurs­day). She’s been amaz­ing all sea­son. Made big save af­ter big save. She kept us in the game (Fri­day). She even kept us in the game yes­ter­day through the small er­ror. And she’s just such a re­silient kid. For a sopho­more to come up that big in a huge state cham­pi­onship game is awe­some.”

“I think we stayed re­ally strong and we didn’t let them get any mo­men­tum, then we put the last cou­ple away and ended the game,” Lo­gan said.

The only blem­ish from the Charg­ers’ per­spec­tive came in the 70th minute when Hope’s Kyra Stafford lofted a pin­point shot from about 30 yards out that Lo­gan had no chance to reach.

“It’s more joy­ful ev­ery year,” Glid­den said of the three-peat. “It’s in­cred­i­ble and this year I feel like we re­ally got to en­joy it. We’ve had over­time games and 1-0 games in the past.

“It’s just amaz­ing for this group of se­niors to go out like this with a strong win against a re­ally good Hope team. It’s an awe­some feel­ing.”

GREG SORBER/JOUR­NAL

Academy’s Anna Car­pio scored three goals to help the Charg­ers beat Hope Chris­tian for the 4A state cham­pi­onship Fri­day.

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