Senior Alyssa Rodriguez
scored in the 73rd minute off a perfect through-ball from Cayla Imahara
to lift Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.)
to a 1-0 win over Centennial (Las Vegas)
in the Class 4A Southern Nevada girls soccer title game.
It is the first Southern Nevada championship for the Gators since the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association began recognizing the tournament in 2003. Northern Nevada teams compete during the fall season.
"We had to win this, because we did everything — we even dyed our coaches' hair pink," Rodriguez told Nevadapreps.com. "We knew before the game if we didn't win this, it would be really embarrassing. As soon as I scored, it was the best feeling ever."
The contest was a rematch of the 2008 Southern Nevada title game that Centennial won 1-0 and the Gators used that as motivation.
made four saves for the Gators (17-6-1), including a key stop on Siena Drizin's hard shot early in the second half.
Green Valley's Cassidy McLean
had a breakaway in the ninth minute, but was turned away by goalkeeper Natalie Gilbertson, who made four saves for the Bulldogs (17-4-1).
Centennial advanced to the Southern Nevada title game with a 1-0 win over Arbor View (Las Vegas) in the Sunset Region final thanks to a goal by Jasmine Freeman in the 72nd minute. It was the third region title in the last four years for the Bulldogs and avenged a 3-0 loss to Arbor View in last year's semifinals.
Green Valley won the Sunrise Region crown by beating Coronado (Henderson) 3-1 in penalty kicks. Beekman, who signed to play at Mississippi Valley State, stopped three penalty shots.
"We've been building for this moment," Green Valley first-year coach Roy Snider told Nevadapreps.com. "They came out, and never gave up. Centennial played a tremendous game, and had a ton of chances where they really put us on our heels. They played a great ball game against us; they're a fantastic team. But to be able to battle through that, and continue to play, and to come up huge when the chance came, it just shows how determined they were. They wanted this game that bad."POLSTER NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Palo Verde (Las Vegas) senior midfielder Matt Polster
was recently honored as the Gatorade Nevada Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Polster scored 10 goals for the Panthers (13-2-3), who reached the Sunset Region semifinals.David Schoen works at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and is a former Associate Sports Editor and Turn2 columnist for the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune. You can reach him at ByDavid1@aol.com.