The wind and cold were not about to deter the Skyview girls soccer team from their objective in last Thursday's game against home-standing Elizabeth.
Jazmyne Escobar scored the only goal in the game with 11 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first half to help lead Skyview to its ninth win of the season with its 1-0 victory against Elizabeth.
Yet, it was a game that Elizabeth, coached by Graig Machendrie, might have been able to pull out. It virtually was a game of two halves. Skyview dominated the offensive punch in the first half, allowing Elizabeth only two shots on goal while compiling five of their own. The Cardinals had much of the offensive punch in the second half even though they came up scoreless.
Skyview has scored 68 goals this season, allowing only one — that's right, only one. The Cardinals dropped to 5-5 with the loss.
Tegan Alexander and Lea Smith were among those pushing the hardest for Elizabeth, each coming up with three shots apiece. Unfortunately, they just couldn't find their marks.
“We played hard and better than our last game against them,” said Alexander, a solid freshman. “This is just a disaster of a loss. It was cold, yes, but I think we were playing at the top of our game despite the conditions.
“It definitely was very cold out there and we could have been able to take the game to a different level,” Smith said. “They beat us before, but I think we had the confidence when we came in today that we could win. We proved to be a much better team in the second half.
“We were able to make some changes after the first half,” Smith said. “We needed more shots, but they had a good defensive effort, too. It was just a back-and-forth game for both of us.”
As for those in goal, Elizabeth's Courtney Blanchard and Skyview's Brandie Woodson, their play was commendable.
When one looks back, it is certainly not surprising that Escobar would come through with the game winner. After all, it's been a splendid season, as she has scored a state-leading 19 goals while also compiling 16 assists helping lead the Wolverines to their 9-0 record.
“I was just open and was able to take the opportunity,” Escobar said. “We were able to play pretty hard in the first half, but the second half, we didn't have as much. We are down a couple of starters, but overall, we still played well today. It was cold, just freezing.”
Skyview's Mariah Ramirez and Samantha Garcia were also strong up front for the Wolverines while Jakayla Maher and Lizzie Slade also had a fine game for Elizabeth.
Alexander and Smith have been on top of their games for Elizabeth this season.
For a freshman, Alexander is having a great year, scoring a team-leading 17 goals and four assists, while Smith has accounted for six goals and four assists. The Cardinals have scored 32 goals this season, allowing 25. Cassidy Moore (four goals) and Jakayla Maher (two goals) are the only other Cardinals to have scored more than a single goal.
The Elizabeth victories have come against Alameda (8-1), Widefield (2-1), Fort Lupton (5-0), Gateway (4-1) and Englewood (8-6). Beside the pair of losses to unbeaten Skyview, the Cardinals have lost to Thomas Jefferson (4-3), Machebeuf (4-1) and Arvada (2-0).
Blanchard and Megan Reyher have been the mainstays in goal for Elizabeth. Blanchard has recorded 23 saves while Reyher has 19 to her credit.