Chaparral girls soccer scores in overtime to win second straight state title

The Chaparral girls soccer team raises its state championship trophy after its 3-2 overtime victory over Notre Dame Prep to win the 2018 5A state championship. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

With time waning in overtime, the Chaparral High School girls soccer team needed something to break a 2–2 tie in the 5A state championship game, so it turned to the person that won them last year’s state title.

Midfielder McKenzie Davis, who scored in overtime during last year’s state final win, sent a free kick into the net with 50 seconds left during the fourth overtime period, which was sudden death.

The goal gave No. 3 Chaparral a 3–2 win over No. 1 Notre Dame Preparatory and its second straight 5A state title. The win came Saturday, Feb. 10 at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert.

Chaparral defender Madison Liebman (3) pushes the ball past NDP defender Hannah Osland (22) during Chaparral’s 3-2 overtime victory over Notre Dame Prep to win the 2018 5A state championship. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Davis said when she stepped to the ball, she was scanning for the NDP’s players’ position. In front of her was a wall of NDP defender. Davis said that wall was why she took the free kick low instead of high.

“If you hit it over (the wall), it’s going over the goal,” she said after the match. “It was just hit low and hope for the best.”

Getting this win was not easy for the Firebirds. Notre Dame Prep played solid defense throughout most of the game. Offensively, NDP scored with less than a second left in regulation to force overtime.

Still, Chaparral Head Coach Robyn Carlson said her team kept fighting through all of it.

“I told the girls all year ‘you play as a team, we’re going to win as a team,’ and they did everything,” she said after the match. “I’m so proud of them, each and every one of them. It was an amazing game.”

After a scoreless first half, midfielder Luciana Garcia-Reifkohl scored to put NDP on top shortly after halftime.

The Firebirds responded with two goals: one from forward Paige Farquhar in the 70th minute and another from defender Hannah Koopal about two minutes later.

As the clock raced to zero, the Chaparral sideline started brimming with excitement but NDP forward Anna White stole the excitement as she launched a goal in from near the top of the box with less than a second left in regulation.

Coach Carlson described that goal as a “heartbreaker” and said she noticed her players getting upset because of the late score. She said her message to them was a simple one.

“You can’t focus on what happened,” Coach Carlson said. “You’ve got to focus on what’s ahead. That’s what they did.”

NDP midfielder Luciana Garcia-Reifkohl (12) races up field with two Chaparral defenders applying pressure during Chaparral’s 3-2 overtime victory over Notre Dame Prep to win the 2018 5A state championship. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Despite the excitement from the late goal, NDP head coach Tom White said his team struggled in during the first overtime period, which led to NDP not capitalizing on the last-second goal.

“I would’ve figured we’d have momentum going into that first overtime,” he said after the match. “I almost think the break between regulation and overtime, maybe we were too amped-up from that goal.”

He said his team had “quality chances” in the second overtime period.

Notre Dame Prep was playing for its third state championship in three years. Last year, the Saints fell short to Arcadia High School in the semifinals, another region opponent.

Anna White said Chaparral has been NDP’s rival for as long as she could remember. That rivalry, she said, resulted in a tough, physical match.

Furthermore, Anna White said “both teams left it all out on the field,” which makes this loss hurt significantly for her.

“When a team works so hard for something and you try to come out with a win, you put everything out on the field and you don’t get the result, that’s pretty gutting,” she said while fighting back tears after the match.

From a Chaparral standpoint, this win avenged a loss from earlier in the season when the two met during the regular season.

Since the 2–1 loss, Coach Carlson said she wanted a chance for redemption against NDP and was happy it came on such a large stage.

“It’s just a fantastic game both ways and both good teams,” she said. “I just thought the girls stepped up, played together and gave everything they had in them to get the win.”

As the players left the field following the win, Davis spent time just reveling in the win, posing for pictures with the trophy and celebrating with the team.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “I honestly couldn’t have done it without our seniors or without our whole team. Honestly, they’re one of the best group of girls I’ve ever played with.”

The Chaparral girls soccer team poses with its championship banner and trophy after its 3-2 overtime victory over Notre Dame Prep to win the 2018 5A state championship. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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