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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.

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