Clovis High’s Patrice Dykes (7) battles for the ball during Tuesday’s match against Roswell High at Yucca Soccer Complex. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Lora Esquivel thought her goal early in the second half might be enough to win the match. When that didn’t happen, she went back to work.
Esquivel, a junior midfielder, punched in two second-half goals to lift Clovis High past Roswell High 3-2 Tuesday night at Yucca Soccer Complex, pulling the Lady Wildcats (4-4-2) up to the .500 mark.
The contest seesawed as the Lady Coyotes (4-7) twice erased one-goal deficits. Senior Jordan Garrett had assists on both of Esquivel’s goals.
Her second tally came with seven minutes left. She took a crossing pass from Garrett and grabbed the rebound of her shot off Lady Coyotes goalkeeper Brittany Thompson, who came out to stop the play and then left the net wide open on the follow.
“I was wondering what would happen if I missed it,” Esquivel quipped. “The goalie just kind of hit the ball, and she was behind me when I got it again.”
Sisters Jasiman and Patrice Dykes teamed up to give the Lady Cats an early 1-0 lead, with Jasiman Dykes breaking down the center and beating Thompson to the right corner. Roswell High tied it with just under 16 minutes left in the half with a score by freshman Erica Shangraw, who broke in one-on-one against CHS keeper Britni Jimenez.
Garrett then found Esquivel open to the left of the in the box for a relatively easy goal with 34 1/2 minutes left.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Esquivel said of her goals. “Jordan just made some really good passes tonight.”
Lady Coyotes senior Megan Corn beat a couple of CHS defenders down the right side to tie it with 26 1/2 minutes left. Her shot from the right wing deflected off the hands of Jimenez and into the net.
“I don’t think they should’ve had either goal,” first-year CHS coach Shane Leatherwood said. “The first goal was a mistake by the defense and put a lot of pressure on (Jimenez).”
Roswell High coach Rhonda Martinez said her team had a tough time keeping the Lady Cats off the board.
“We’re struggling on defense, and on making the transition (from offense),” she said. “Other than that, I was pleased with how the girls played. Our passing was better tonight than it’s been.”
Esquivel said she and Jordan communicated better in the second half.
“We weren’t talking good at all (early), but in the second half things just clicked,” Esquivel said. “I just knew I didn’t want to go into overtime.”
Clovis won the junior varsity preliminary 5-2, getting two goals each from Taylor Corley and Crista Milner and another from Taiesha Bosque.