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Trojans take home regional championship

The Pahrump Valley Trojans defeated the Boulder City Eagles 2-1 in overtime to clinch the Southern Nevada girls soccer regional championship on Saturday.

The Trojans finished off the regular season with a 14-game winning streak, including seven consecutive shutouts. They finished as the #1 overall seed for the 3A division.

On their way to clinching the regional championship, the Trojans needed to win three games in a five-day span.

“Well earned,” Pahrump Valley head coach Julie Carrington said of the team winning the regional championship. “Definitely fabulous. Couldn’t have wanted anything else. It was pretty great.”

Their first opponent, who they defeated by a combined score of 17-0 in the regular season, was the Equipo Academy Yeti. Pahrump picked up right where they left off from the regular season and was able to defeat Equipo Academy in the first round by a score of 8-0.

The offense was led by two-time Nevada player of the week Adryanna Avena. She finished the game against Equipo with three goals and three assists. Courtney Van House also had a hat trick of her own with three goals, including the eighth and final goal to end the game. Grace Miller scored the other two goals and senior captain Kiara Ramos added two assists for the Trojans.

With their win against Equipo Academy, the Trojans advanced to the regional semifinals to take on the Virgin Valley Bulldogs. These teams played each other during the regular season and Pahrump came out with a 2-1 win.

This playoff game was very different from the first-round game. This was much more of a defensive battle between the two teams and much less of an offensive fireworks show.

The game remained scoreless until the final minutes of the first half when the Pahrump Valley Trojans were awarded a penalty kick. Avena took the kick and drilled a shot past the Bulldogs’ goalie to take a 1-0 lead going to halftime.

The first 25 minutes of the second half was much like the defensive battle of the first half until Miller opened up the scoring with a goal off a rebound from her own shot to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Avena would tack on two more goals in the final five minutes of the game to give the Trojans a 4-0 victory, sending them to the regional championship game and sealing a spot in the state tournament.

The regional championship game was a matchup between the Pahrump Valley Trojans and their rivals, the Boulder City Eagles. These teams played against each other twice in the regular season with Pahrump winning both games by a combined score of 8-0.

This game, however, was completely different from the others. The Trojans were tested more in this game than they had been in the entire season outside of their game against Faith Lutheran.

This game was much like the Virgin Valley game. It was very physical. It was a defensive battle. Neither team wanted to give an inch when the other team had the ball.

“I don’t feel my girls body up enough 90% of the time,” Carrington said of the physical play. “I’m always telling them to body up, so I don’t see it on mine. It makes it a good game. That’s what we train them to fight for.”

The game remained scoreless for the first half. In the second half, Boulder City was able to take the lead on a shot that went just over the outstretched arms of Pahrump’s goalie, Avery Moore.

The Trojans were fighting tooth and nail to get on the board, but the Eagles defense wasn’t budging. Things changed, however, with under ten minutes to play. Following an injury to an Eagles player, which killed a lot of the game clock, the Trojans needed to make every second count.

Adryanna Avena was able to get the Trojans on the board with a goal from inside the box. The ball was bouncing around after a Pahrump corner kick and it happened to land at the feet of one of the most dangerous players on the field. With the tying goal finally on the board, the Trojans forced overtime.

After neither team was able to score a goal in the first 15-minute overtime frame, the game headed to a second 15-minute frame.

After getting fouled near midfield, the Trojans had a free kick in Eagles territory. Ramos stepped up to the ball with a chance to deliver a kick that could change the game - and that she did. Ramos’ kick was sent perfectly into the box, bouncing over the hands of the Boulder City goalie and into the back of the net, sealing the regional championship for the Pahrump Valley Trojans.

“It feels great,” Carrington said about playing for state. “I’m pretty excited. We’re ready.”

The Trojans will be moving onto the state tournament as the #1 overall seed. The tournament will be taking place at Pahrump Valley High School this Friday, Nov. 12, and Saturday, Nov. 13. Their state semifinal game will be on Friday at 6 p.m. against Truckee High School.

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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