St. Joseph outlasts Victoria West in Crossroads Classic

Jan. 11, 2013 at 11:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 11, 2013 at 7:12 p.m.

Sarah Warner (1) reacts after a goal during the Victoria West v. El Campo game in the Crossroads Classic tournament at Memorial Stadium.

Sarah Warner (1) reacts after a goal during the Victoria West v. El Campo game in the Crossroads Classic tournament at Memorial Stadium.

There were 10 minutes left in a 1-1 soccer game, and Amanda Groenhuyzen was prone on the field.

The senior, who was a nuisance all afternoon to the Victoria West defense, was on the field with an apparent cramp. However, it was a Warriors player who was helping her stretch.

That moment, when Nitzi Martinez helped Groenhuyzen stay loose, summed up the intensity, respect and will to win by both teams of Friday's soccer match between Victoria West (1-1) and St. Joseph - a contest the Lady Flyers won in penalty kicks.

The match may have been the best of the 12 games played during Friday's action at the Crossroads Classic.

Many of the girls play club soccer together, which led to the friendly, yet fierce atmosphere surrounding the contest.

"They don't get angry or upset because they view it as good competition," said St. Joseph head coach Vicki Sontheimer. It's not really a rivalry, but good competition."

St. Joseph (2-0) controlled the game throughout the first half, but couldn't breach West goalie Liz Di Santo.

Despite both teams having played, and won, a game earlier in the day, the opening half hour of the game featured both teams trying to play its brand of soccer, which is to control central midfield and spray the ball wide to start attacks.

West's Anhila Rocha, who provided four goals and an assist in a 7-1 victory over El Campo earlier Friday played central midfield the entirety of the St. Joseph game. Rocha and Martinez were opposed in central midfield by Kristin Sontheimer and Kendra Spencer.

Seconds after West's coaches asked for their team to get a goal before halftime, the Warriors responded.

Rocha squirted free on the right side penalty area, and placed a pass directly into the path of Hanna Schaefer who quickly fired a near-post shot into the roof of the net to open the scoring with 2:32 left in the first half.

"They put up a good fight," said Schaefer, who dedicated the goal to teammate Suzanne Ashley. "It was open. I called for the ball and when she passed it, I kicked it in."

Groenhuyzen started the game at forward, but was moved back to attacking midfielder early in the second half. The move immediately paid off. She hit the post in the 44th minute and scored soon thereafter to tie the game 1-1.

"They are very calm and they are confident in their skills as a team," Sontheimer said. "Being down a goal they always feel 'We can come back.' They are very positive and upbeat."

The tying goal was Groenhuyzen's fifth of the tournament. She scored four goals in the Lady Flyers 5-0 win over Beeville earlier Friday.

Once 80 minutes of soccer could not separate the two schools, the match went to penalty kicks. Nicole Sontheimer, Morgan Barker and Kristin Sontheimer all converted for St. Joseph, while West converted just one of four penalty kicks.

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Victoria East 3- Bay City 1

Nanci Vasquez may have scored the goal of the day Friday when her header opened the scoring in the 21st minute of Victoria East's 3-1 victory over Bay City.

After the ball was played wide to East's Janae Mata, the sophomore used her quick feet to set up just enough space to unleash a cross from the right wing. Mata's pass was so accurate Vasquez only needed to redirect the ball toward goal, which she did, emphatically.

Bay City tied the game with 1:03 left in the first half when Madison McDonald's goal was assisted by Karina Clements.

A pair of Rachel Mansker goals in the second half, including one with 7:54 remaining allowed the Titans to pull away. Bay City goalkeeper Kaylee Reed made a trio of strong saves in the second half to keep her side in the game until Mansker scored her second.

Victoria East 4- Houston Incarnate Word 1

Victoria East girls soccer season in style Friday afternoon when the team's first shot of the season went into the back of the net for a goal. Morgan Wyatt was responsible for the opening salvo, as she curled a shot from nearly 25 yards away into the top corner, just 18 seconds into the game.

Janae Mata, Madison Hawkins and Rachel Mansker also scored for Victoria East. Hawkins poked the ball past the Incarnate Word goalie with three seconds remaining in the first half to give East a 3-1 advantage.

In all, East used its new formation and a slick passing game to control possession and move the ball Memorial Stadium Friday.

"It's one of the goals of the team to make better passes this year," said Victoria East girls soccer coach Misty Boenig. "It's something we started working on last year. That's something everyone has taken really seriously and worked hard at is making those connections, seeing it and talking more."

Victoria West 7- El Campo 1

The synergy between Anhila Rocha and Sarah Warner picked up where it left off from the 2012 season Friday morning. The two underclassmen combined for six of Victoria West's seven goals in its season-opening win over El Campo.

El Campo's Alma Torres scored to cut the deficit to 2-1. Nena Rangel provided the assisted on Torres' first-half goal. However, the Warriors were too much for an El Campo program that is just getting on its feet.

"Overall, they gave a good effort," said El Campo head coach Stephanie Morrison. "I'm disappointed because we lost, but I'm not disappointed in the girls. They have been working hard on what we've been working on."



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