Hamilton girls return to Div. I state championship match - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Hamilton girls return to Div. I state championship match

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Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:33 pm

Hamilton's Kylie Miniefield called it being in the right spot at the right time. Teammate Meaghan Pasbing called it a great hustle play.

Whatever the case, her play resulted in the only score of the night as Hamilton beat Pinnacle, 1-0, in a Division 1 soccer state semifinal Thursday at Campo Verde High School.

The top-seeded Huskies, who won last year's 5A Division I state title, will meet No. 3 seed Highland on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for the Division I championship at Campo Verde H.S.

The fourth-seeded Pioneers, last year's Class 5A Division II state champs but playing without standout forward Jorian Baucom (U.S. U15 national team in Florida), finished the season 13-2.

"We haven't played our best game, but we're still playing soccer," Hamilton coach Mark Eggleston said.

Miniefield scored off a rebound shot by Emily Ravenhill at the 19:08 mark of the first half. Ravenhill, who beat a pair of Pinnacle players to a loose ball on the left sideline, got off a shot through traffic that eluded Pioneers goalkeeper Jennifer Stuart and bounced off the far post. Miniefield was there waiting and tapped the ball into the open net.

"I just happened to be there," said Minifield, who is one of four freshman contributors for the Huskies. "It sure felt good to put into the net."

The score held up both teams had scoring opportunities in the second half. Hamilton goalkeeper Laura Glew finished with seven saves.

"We've been playing with a lot of pressure," midfielder Meaghan Pasbing said. "We've had that target on our back. It feels great that we made it. Just one more game to go."

Pasbing had a pair of quality shots on goal in a two-minute span of the second half. One attempt sailed just over the crossbar and the other directly into the arms of Pinnacle freshman goalkeeper Jalen Thompson, who took over in the second half.

Thompson proved more than up to the task in the second half, turning away six shots.

"We were thinking it might be a little bit of an advantage but it turned out to be the opposite," Eggleston said of the goalie switch. "It definitely helped them out a lot.

"What can you say? That kid did an amazing job."

The Huskies were able to use their speed on the edge to get their scoring opportunities in the second half.

"That's been our forte all year. We feel we are a fast team and we possess really well," Eggleston said. "We feel if we play that way over the course of a game we will eventually wear a team down."

The Pioneers also had their share of scoring chances early in the second half, but in the final 10 minutes of play, they rarely got the ball past midfield and had just one decent scoring chance.

"We wanted to play our game without panicking," said Pasbing, who also feels the key to winning on Saturday is easy.

"Whoever works harder," she said. "That's all it comes down to."

 

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