The Pahrump Valley Trojans defeated the South Tahoe Vikings 1-0 on Saturday to secure the Nevada 3A girls soccer state championship.
This title was Pahrump Valley’s first state championship victory since winning back-to-back state championships in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Pahrump Valley head coach Julie Carrington said. “It’s better than what I thought it would be. I’m thankful to have brought that, not only to our players and their families and our school, but to our whole town in general. I’m really honored to lead them to get it [state championship] back into our school.”
The Trojans punched their ticket to the state championship game by defeating the Truckee High Wolverines in the state semifinals on Friday 1-0. Team captain and leading scorer Adryanna Avena scored the lone goal in the 10th minute of the game that was assisted by Courtney Van House.
The Trojans defense stepped up in a huge way during a very physical matchup with the Wolverines. Truckee’s only high-scoring chance came on a penalty kick just before halftime, but the shot taker sailed the ball over the goal.
In order to reach the state championship game, the Vikings needed to first get past the Boulder City Eagles. This game was much like Pahrump’s first-round game in that it was a defensive battle. The Vikings came away with a 1-0 win with a goal from their senior midfielder, Mackenzie Nealis.
Saturday’s game was the first matchup between Pahrump Valley and South Tahoe since the 2013-14 season. Carrington has been saying all year that they were waiting and preparing for a matchup with the Vikings.
It didn’t take long for the action to start after the first whistle was blown. Less than a minute into the game, the Trojans were awarded a corner kick.
Avena took the kick and sent the ball perfectly into the box right in front of the South Tahoe goalkeeper. Defender Paris Coleman was waiting on the other end of the kick and placed a header perfectly into the corner of the goal past the goalie.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead and all signs were pointing to the offensive juggernaut that is Pahrump being released.
However, after the goal was scored, things settled down and the game quickly moved into a physical, defensive battle, just like the previous night.
Coleman, along with her counterpart and other centerback, Emily Lewis, led the defense to shut down the Vikings. Even though Trojan goalkeeper Avery Moore faced a high amount of shots, none of them were high-danger shots.
“My defensive line is truly, obviously, the best in 3A because we just took that,” Carrington said. “They’re best in the state, to me, because they always give 110%. I rarely need to sub them unless they’re overheated. Nobody can take on our defense, they’re the top.”
The defense was able to keep South Tahoe out of the box, leaving them having to take shots from long distances.
Moore and the Trojans ended the season with a state-high 15 shutouts en route to a season record of 19-1, including winning 19 games in a row to end the season.
With much of the Trojans’ team being underclassmen, they have a strong chance to continue their dominance next season.
Although Pahrump Valley will be losing their centerpiece and team captain Kiara Ramos, they will be returning four of their top five goal scorers for the 2022 season. The Trojans will also be keeping their whole back line of defenders intact, as well as Moore in goal.
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