The Artichokes (8-6-2) — who lost 5-0 to AWC in the teams’ first meeting — held the Matadors scoreless in the first half Thursday, the first time that’s happened to AWC since Aug. 28 against Chandler-Gilbert.
“I mean at least we won so that’s what I’m happy about,” Acosta said of the slow start. “I think obviously we’ve had so many games so they’re just getting tired.”
Freshman forward Asare
Vera, off an assist from Maesy Ramirez, finally got the Matadors on the board in the 71st minute — and it looked like that, Vera’s sixth goal of the season, would hold up as the gamewinner, until it didn’t.
Instead, it was a much less likely player who wound up the hero.
Not only had Kelsey Ramirez, a regular starter on the back line, never scored as a Matador, but also never in her prep career at Kofa, either.
“I’ve always wanted to,” she said, “it’s just never happened.”
Though Maesy regularly takes corner kicks for the Matadors, connecting with Kelsey isn’t something the two sisters exactly practice.
“Because I’m usually in the back,” Kelsey said.
As she was supposed to be Thursday.
“We just packed the box obviously because we were trying to get a goal, but then we noticed there was more than one Scottsdale player up there so that’s when we told (Kelsey) to go back,” Acosta said. “But thankfully, she didn’t hear us.”
“So I guess congratulations on me for ignoring
them,” Kelsey said with a laugh.
After scoring — which ended the game, with the NJCAA using golden goal rules in overtime — Kelsey acknowledged she didn’t really know how to react.
“I was kind of just like, ‘Oh my God, did I score? Was that real?’” she said.
Then, as Matadors spilled onto the field, Kelsey pointed to herself, because, well: “No one knew it was me, so I was looking for the admiration.”
Swarmed by her teammates, she eventually got it.