Historical soccer season comes to an end for Lady Coyotes

After losing to the top-ranked Flagstaff Falcons in the first round of the state playoffs, the Lady Coyotes reflect on their season.

After bus ride that lasted nearly three hours, reading good-luck notes from elementary schoolers and a quick stop at Chili’s for lunch, the girls varsity soccer team went head-to-head against the top-ranked Flagstaff Eagles in the first round of the state playoffs. The game was hard in the high altitude and cold weather, and the Eagles won the game, 7-0.

Despite the loss, the lady Coyotes walked off the turf field proud of their historical season.

“That’s the best that any of my teams have ever done,” Coach Chris Azanger said. “I knew that we had a talented team this year and that we’re capable of it”

At first glance, the opposing team looked huge and the field looked unlike any other they had played on this year. Snow piled up around the field leaving barely enough room for players and coaches to stand on the sidelines.

“The field is nothing we’re used to. The turf, obviously the ball moves a lot quicker on the turf. And all the snow around the sides,” Azanger said. “I can’t even believe they play their games this way, with no room on the sidelines for players or coaches or even the refs.”

The turf set up challenges for the lady Coyotes.

“We haven’t played on turf much, we have that grassy field at Combs. We’re not used to the ball rolling as much as it did,” Skaggs said. “But we did pretty good, we did better than most of us thought we were going to do.”

Going into the game, the players had a common goal in mind.

“Just keep it close as possible. We knew that this is obviously the best team in the state,” Azanger said. “So we just went in with defensive tactics in the beginning to just keep the game as close as we could and then in the second half we’d come out and try to put pressure offensively.”

In the end, the game was hard fought and making it to the playoffs was a huge deal.

“ We were all pretty excited and we made history for girls soccer,” Makaela Skaggs said. “I was happy to be apart of making history.”

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