. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Zailor Lopez fires in the Lady Bulldogs’ second and final goal during the first half Saturday at The Mack. (Brienne Green – Daily Press)

The Lady Bulldog soccer team was looking for a simple, solid game in their final non-district outing of the season Saturday at the Mack Chase Athletic Complex, and that’s exactly what they delivered.

With play predominantly parked on the Lady Warrior half of the field, the Artesia girls may not have created a bevy of quality scoring opportunities, but when they got a good look, they made it count, and the result was a 2-0 final on Senior Day.

“I thought we played pretty well,” head coach Tim Trentham said Saturday. “We moved the ball real well, we possessed well, and we just played a pretty good attack game overall.”

The Lady ‘Dogs fired off 10 shots on goal at Ruidoso in the first half of play Saturday, connecting early on a double-rebound in the game’s sixth minute.

Elisa Cardenas launched the initial free kick toward the net, but it was blocked by the Lady Warrior keeper. Kaylee Rojo was there to follow up, and after the ball bounced away again, freshman Sadi Butler finally headed it in to put Artesia on the board, 1-0.

The Lady Bulldogs would tack on an insurance goal with 9:02 to go in the first on a Zailor Lopez bullet into the net, and that 2-0 score would stand at the break.

As it turned out, it would stand through the remainder of the game, as well.

Despite continuing to keep play in Ruidoso territory, the Lady ‘Dogs saw less chances offensively in the final 40 minutes, taking five shots on goal to the Lady Warriors’ two but connecting on none.

“Ruidoso’s a tough team to play because they don’t play much technical soccer,” said Trentham. “They kind of just sit back and let you keep attacking. They keep everybody back on the ball, and that makes it difficult to score.

“They gave us a lot of good opportunities, we just didn’t create many quality looks for ourselves, but when you have that kind of game, you’re bound to score at some point, and that’s kind of the way the game went.”

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 11-4 on the season with the win and will prepare to resume District 4-AAAAA play Tuesday against Roswell High on the road.

“Roswell’s going to be tough,” Trentham said. “This is going to be the game that defines our district. Unfortunately, Roswell got the chance to scout us when we played Goddard, plus we’re playing away, so this is probably going to be the hardest game we have on the whole district schedule. But we’re going to mix things up a little bit, and hopefully we can catch them trying to play to a different strength than what we put out.

“Right now, we’ve got some youth doing some good things, and our seniors will come back around. It’s been a tough time for them recently, but people are carrying the weight and doing the work, and we’ll just keep plugging. I’m very excited about what these girls have done so far this season. This is a fantastic group, and we have a great opportunity ahead of us.”