Gallegos Scores Twice, Including Late Game-Winner
By Daniel Dullum
The playing surface at Davis Field still had some slick spots after taking a heavy rain earlier in the week. Apache Junction forward Memarie Gallegos found herself covered with mud in the second half against Casa Grande Union on Jan. 11, but in a good way.
Gallegos lost her footing, but arrived just in time to redirect a shot by teammate Jaden Miner in the 36th minute of the second half, giving the Lady Prospectors a 2-1 non-region triumph over the Cougars.
“I’m thankful that Jaden stuck with it and played that ball,” Gallegos said. “It was really muddy over there – I’m covered with mud – I was really scared that it was off side, because the ref called it off sides, but it was worth it. It was worth falling in the mud!
“I really thought it was (Miner’s) shot. The goalie got a hand on it, but the slide helped.”
“I told Jaden, that’s a good job on your part, because if you don’t work as hard as you are up top, Memarie doesn’t get either of those goals,” AJ Coach Norm Hoefer said. “They were both good team goals. It was a good team win.”
Gallegos broke a scoreless deadlock in the second minute of the second half, converting a pass from Faith Rutkowski. CGU (6-9) countered eight minutes later with a goal by Teresa Lanya.
Lady Prospectors goalkeeper Olivia McCrary made seven saves, as AJHS improved to 7-5 overall.
In the wake of a 7-0 defeat on Jan. 10 at Phoenix Thunderbird, Hoefer was glad to see his team bounce back.
“Especially after last night, our girls showed a lot of heart,” Hoefer said. “I was worried about a little bit of a letdown when they tied it.”
Apache Junction has road games coming up this week at Gilbert Mesquite on Tuesday and San Tan Valley Poston Butte on Thursday.
“We’d like to see 10 wins, and that should get us a home playoff game. That’s what we’re shooting for,” Hoefer said. “We know that if we win our division we’re in, but we don’t want to worry about those last couple of games. We’d like to have four or five wins going into those games, so we’re pretty confident about getting into the playoffs.”
“That’s probably one of our hardest teams to play this season,” Gallegos said. “If we keep it up, we’re good.”
Photo above: Memarie Gallegos (11) scored both Apache Junction goals on Jan. 11, including the game-winner in the 36th minute of the second half against Casa Grande Union. (Photo by Daniel Dullum)