The Jackson girls made it five straight wins by closing out the regular season with victories over Star Valley and Evanston.
The red-hot Lady Broncs avenged an upset loss to bitter rivals Star Valley by beating the Lady Braves 4-1 on senior night. There was not long to celebrate the win, however, as the girls were aboard a bus for Evanston less than 24 hours later, where they handed the Lady Red Devils a 3-0 loss.
Jackson 4, Star Valley 1
Taya McClennen led the way for the ladies on Wednesday on senior night with a pair of goals. Selah Hunter added another along with an assist, and Phoebe Alva Rosa also scored to propel the Lady Broncs to a 4-1 win over the Lady Braves.
Jackson got a little pay back for the 1-0 loss to Star Valley back on April 15. More importantly, the girls carried the momentum into the final game of the season the following day.
Jackson 3, Evanston 0
Final score: Selah Hunter 3, Evanston 0. Hunter’s hattrick was all Jackson needed to stop a plucky Lady Red Devil team.
Give Evanston credit…and a little more to the wind. Junior Melia Wilson (that California throw-in is the bomb) had a strong game, and freshman Kinnley Hintze rocketed two free kicks that nearly beat Jackson goalie Sydney Nash, who had to make big saves on two tricky short hops off those scoring chances.
Jackson used a season-old recipe to get on the board first. The McClennen-to-Hunter combo is starting to feel like the Cubs double play baseball box score of old: Tinker to Evers to Chance. The freshman to senior connection made it 1-0 Jackson into halftime.
Jackson’s 2nd goal was more of the Taya-Selah magic.
McClennen driving wide is so dangerous on her own that opponents must commit a defender or two to her. But no one turns the corner, ditches her mark, and heads up the goal line like McClennen. When she does, she is heads up, eyes on Hunter every time.
And there Selah was, waiting in the middle for the crossing pass. Bang! 2-0 Jackson.
And there are the times when McClennen never touches the ball but sets up her mate.
Alva Rosa, who sees the field about as well as any Lady Bronc, excels at creating offense, making space for her teammates to get in. The junior forward put on a short dribbling clinic before crossing a ball to Hunter. The pass could very well have been to McClennen but Taya spotted Hunter just behind her and to her left so she let the ball roll through.
Unselfish and uncanny sense by McClennen handed Hunter her hatty, and gave Jackson its 11th win of the season against 3 losses.
The girls head to Evanston on May 13 to begin regionals. Seeded #2 in the 4A West, Jackson (9-3) will face Green River (0-11) to open play at 2pm this Thursday.