Published: 3:00 pm, Sun. Aug. 19th, 2018Updated: 2:59 pm
With their traditional season-opener – the Goddard Invitational Tournament – moved back a week and a few games lost to scheduling conflicts due to the recent district realignments, when the chance came to take on both Silver and Deming Saturday in Silver City presented itself, Lady Bulldog head soccer coach Tim Trentham was happy to take it.
Granted, it left his squad with just one week of official practice to prepare for their inaugural outings of 2018. But the girls in orange looked no worse for the wear Saturday in Silver City, defeating the host Lady Colts 5-2 before blanking Deming 6-0.
“We did pretty well,” Trentham said Saturday from the road. “These being our first two games, there were a few speedbumps, especially with losing as many starters as we did from last year. We lost five starting varsity players, so to be able to get a lot of these new girls into the mix but still have chemistry was great.
“We’re pretty young. We have 13 girls out of our 20 that are sophomores our youngers, with only three seniors.”
Despite their overall youth, however, some of those underclassmen were already making waves in 2017, and they led the charge into a new campaign Saturday.
Artesia scored its first two goals against Silver in quick succession, the first on a free kick from a distance by sophomore Ragan Lund and the second on a well-placed shot by freshman Zailor Lopez.
The Lady Colts were able to convert a pair of free kicks to tie the game, but sophomore Sadi Butler fired one in off a corner kick to put the Lady ‘Dogs back in the lead at the break, 3-2.
“The second half, we played a lot better,” said Trentham. “We were a lot more in control, and we didn’t give Silver a lot of opportunities at all.”
Lopez and Butler put an exclamation point on the outing with another goal apiece in the final 40 minutes to round out the 5-2 final.
The Lady Bulldogs had significantly less resistance from Deming.
“We just controlled the whole game,” Trentham said. “We were moving the ball pretty well, and we probably could’ve had a lot more goals than six. But we were able to get a lot of our bench some playing time, and even with them on the field, we were still dominating.”
Eighth-grader Loreli Perches logged the first goal of that contest, followed by a pair from Lopez with two from Butler sandwiched between. Freshman Abigail Rios accounted for the sixth.
Lopez and Butler each finished with four goals on the day.
“To come all this way across the state and be able to get two wins like we did, we’re very pleased,” Trentham said. “It takes a lot to travel on a bus that far and be able to get out and take care of business, so that says some good things about our team this year.”
The Lady Bulldogs will now spend the week prepping for the Goddard Invite Friday and Saturday in Roswell before heading to Hobbs Aug. 28, then returning to the Mack Chase Athletic Complex Thursday, Aug. 30, for their home opener at 6 p.m. against Clovis.