Add another win for the Northland Prep girls soccer team, this time a 9-0 shutout over Blue Ridge in a 2A Conference freedom match at Sinagua Middle School.
Senior Spartans striker Kiarra Hovis dominated the field Thursday, contributing four out of the nine goals for the win with four assists. Having torn her ACL last year, it only helped improve her game.
“I think just taking a step back last year, and just looking and also watching my teammates for so long, it definitely has humbled me as a player and has grown my love for the game even more,” Hovis said.
Being able to play her final year at NPA alongside her teammates is rewarding. The team has deep chemistry fueled by the veterans on the team and time played together. Senior midfielder Mia Blair scored three goals and had one assist. The seniors have set the bar high for the younger players on the squad, and Hovis is taking on that leadership role by guiding the younger players on the team.
“I really just try to talk to them and talk them through,” Hovis said.
The younger players on the roster are showing what they can do as well.
Junior striker Sydney Sventek set the tone with the first goal of the night and later scored another one, putting the Spartans up 7-0.
The team left Blue Ridge feeling blue as the Yellowjackets struggled to score a goal. This is not surprising for the Spartans, as they have not allowed a single goal this season so far.
Their ability to attack first on the field and maintain possession of the ball keeps them in control. For Spartans co-head coach Keith Hovis, possession was the key to winning the match.
“Mostly, we are just keeping possession,” he said, “Even if we shank our shots like we did in the first 20 minutes, we have the ball and we are limiting their chances of having the ball.”
Keeping the other team from scoring has become a goal for the Spartans. The elder Hovis said the team stays motivated by trying to keep the lowest goals from the opposing team they ever had in a season. If the team continues to attack first, he is certain they could reach their goal.
The entertainment of outscoring the other team by major goal deficits is evident in the support they receive from family and friends.
“People are locked up and people need an outlet, and it’s a good outlet,” Keith Hovis said.
The Spartans (4-0, 1-0 2A Central) host Payson (1-5, 1-2 2A Central) Monday at Sinagua Middle School at 4 p.m.
Eagles 3, Marauders 1
The 4A Flagstaff Eagles haven't gotten many matches, but they are making good on chances with a win over No. 26 Mingus Union in a match-up of Grand Canyon Region squads Thursday.
Flagstaff wasn't ranked in the initial 4A volleyball rankings that were released Thursday because the Eagles had played just one match due to the delay stemming from COVID-19 issues in the area.
With the win, however, the Eagles should expect to get a solid ranking next week.
The Eagles (2-0, 2-0 Grand Canyon) are at No. 12 Bradshaw Mountain (3-1, 3-1 Grand Canyon) Saturday at 3 p.m. in Prescott Valley
Daily Sun sports editor Lance Hartzler contributed to this roundup.
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