Something had to give.
With Palmer Ridge’s girls’ soccer team in the midst of an 11-game winning streak and Coronado riding an eight-game streak of its own, one team knew Tuesday night’s tilt at Garry Berry Stadium would mean the end to one of them. That turned out to be the Cougars’ streak, as the Bears used two goals from a freshman and a swarming defense to earn a 2-0 victory.
Mackenzie Gouner scored once in each half, and the Bears (12-0, 7-0 4A Metro – Plains) did not allow a shot on goal en route to the win. Palmer Ridge, a state semifinalist last year, will be the Plains Division’s No. 1 seed in the 4A crossover tournament, with undefeated Cheyenne Mountain holding the top spot in the Mountains Division.
The crossover tournament begins Thursday.
“I think we did pretty well, but that wasn’t as sharp as we can be,” Palmer Ridge coach Nick Odil said. “We’re looking to up the level of play from here, but it’s a good win. Coronado played really hard and has some really good players, so I’m happy with what we did.”
Palmer Ridge struck at the 13:04 mark of the first half when Haley Fisher found Gouner behind her defender with a lead pass that Gouner deposited into the left side of the net past Coronado goalie Emily Lambert. It was the fifth assist of the season for Fisher, a Division II signee at Azusa Pacific.
Gouner was the beneficiary of another ball behind her defender in the second half, this time off a defender’s foot, and put the Bears up 2-0 with 21:32 remaining. She came within inches of a hat trick with 8 minutes left in the game when her shot hit the left post, but her pair of goals were more than enough for a Palmer Ridge team that hasn't given up a goal since the first half of the season-opener on March 13.
“It felt good to get two goals, because Coronado is a good team,” said Gouner, who now has nine goals on the season. “I was just able to get past them and scored, so I was real happy about that. I feel like we’re bonding really well, and we’re winning.”
Coronado (8-3, 5-1) can still make some noise in the crossover tournament and the postseason, as it will play Air Academy on Wednesday night for the Plains Division’s No. 2 seed.
“I felt like we were just one step behind,” Cougars coach Jenn Ury said. “We just need to take care of the little stuff, and some of the little stuff didn’t get taken care of tonight. It’s a learning (experience), and we’ve got Air Academy tomorrow night, so we’ll move on.”