Girls soccer: Sierra Vista Buena 3, Ironwood Ridge 1: Road-weary Colts still galloping

Victory puts Buena in Tucson Champions Cup semifinals today
2012-12-21T00:00:00Z 2012-12-21T07:44:00Z Girls soccer: Sierra Vista Buena 3, Ironwood Ridge 1: Road-weary Colts still gallopingDaniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 21, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Sierra Vista Buena's girls soccer team has spent a lot of time on the road this week traveling to and from the Tucson Champions Cup.

A round trip lasts roughly three hours and the Colts have already been up and down three times.

Today, they'll make their fourth trip to Tucson High in five days, and they're hoping to hit pay dirt by the time they head home.

Buena (8-2-1) beat Ironwood Ridge 3-1 Thursday, the final day of pool play, and locked up a spot in today's semifinals.

A semifinal win would put the Colts in the 6 p.m., championship game and give them a chance to finish undefeated in the eight-team tournament.

"It would be awesome to win it," said senior captain Brooke Madden, who got the Colts on the board in the 14th minute against I-Ridge. "We've put in so much work, and we really want it."

Madden found an open crease on the left side from about 20 yards to give Buena a 1-0 lead after a pass from junior Michaela Cody.

That was one of two shots for the Colts in the first half - both of which resulted in goals.

Buena coach Marilyn Piduch said it was a relief and a confidence booster.

"As soon as we got that first goal, it really changed the game for us," Piduch said. "We're drained, we're sore, we're tired, and travel is a huge disadvantage for us."

Buena's second score came in the 32nd minute when Cody chipped a ball up from the middle which surprised her and rolled in for a score.

"I had meant to chip it, but it was definitely a little interesting when I hit it," Cody said.

Ironwood Ridge (7-4-2) out-shot and out-possessed Buena in the first 40 minutes but had nothing to show for it. Coach Sean Watkins said his squad came out flat and struggled on capitalizing on chances.

The Nighthawks came closest to scoring in the 31st minute when senior captain Madi Kinzer perfectly headed a throw-in from Jessica Nelson only to have it snagged by goalkeeper Kelsey Sloss.

However, Ironwood Ridge found the net in the 55th minute. After several chances, sophomore midfielder Sarah Bock slipped past a defender and knocked in a loose ball.

But six minutes later, the Colts regained a two-goal lead after junior Larissa Lee took advantage of an open net when freshman goalkeeper Megan Logue came out to try and close Lee down.

"We pulled some players off the back line and got caught forward for that third goal," Watkins said.

Ironwood Ridge continued to press but couldn't score again.

Piduch gave a lot of credit to Sloss, who finished with 14 saves.

"She's thinking on and off the ball, and she's making big saves which is giving our team a huge boost of confidence," Piduch said.

The Colts have not lost since Nov. 23, outscoring opponents 37-2 in a stretch of seven wins and one tie.

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