Senior Rebekah Dial scored three goals to lead the Coconino girls soccer team to a 4-2 win over the Betty H. Fairfax Stampede (0-4) on Thursday afternoon at Cromer Stadium.
Dial’s hat trick gave her 15 goals in eight matches so far this season, but it was Jordan Brockman’s quick tally just 20 seconds into the game that set the tone for the Panthers (3-1).
“I was sitting there thinking, they couldn’t have given us an opening like that this early in the game, now did they?” Dial recalled about the fast start.
The Stampede recovered quickly, however, as Abigail Gutierrez evened the score moments later.
The game remained tied until Dial broke free from two defenders and gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead three minutes before the half.
“The only way we were going to win was by mentally breaking down the other team and never letting up,” said Panthers coach Lacey Chavez.
That's exactly what the Panthers did as they continually were able to make strong plays defensively that let their offense keep the ball on the Stampede’s side for most of the second half.
The final goal of the game came from Dial again off an assist by senior captain Alyssa Gregg.
“It was great to watch those two transform themselves into the leaders this team looks up to,” Chavez said of Dial and Gregg.
“We have some things we still need to tune up and work on, but I am proud of our performance today,” the coach added.
The Panthers’ next match is Monday at home against Saguaro (2-1).