Lady Broncs split weekend with Rock Springs, Green River

Girls and boys soccer begin
The Jackson Lady Broncs (6-2-1) split a challenging weekend against Rock Springs (6-2-1) and Green River (3-6-1).
Rock Springs 2, Jackson 0
The Jackson girls had already beaten defending champions Rock Springs on March 26 by a 4-3 score. But the Lady Tigers got the better of the Lady Broncs on their own pitch last Friday in a match played in brutal weather conditions.
Jackson’s best chance came early when Phoebe Alva Rosa jumped on loose ball but Lady Tiger goalie Yesi Vicencio came out aggressively to take the away the scoring opportunity.
Moments later, it was Rock Springs on the board first after the speedy senior Brecken Hunsacker blew by defender Jordan Davis and walked in all alone for the opening tally.
Rock Springs second goal came after a questionable late whistle gave the Lady Tigers a free kick. It was used to send a pass to Hunsaker, who converted for her second goal of the game.
Jackson didn’t go quietly into that rainy day. The Lady Broncs narrowly missed a goal off a corner kick with 6:35 to go in the 1st half. Eva Flanagan headed it just over the bar, high, while taking a head to the face from a Rock Springs defender.
“I got caught on the cheek by somebody. It left a pretty good bruise the next day,” Flanagan said.
Minutes after that, Alva Rosa fired a rocket that Vicencio had to make a stellar save on. Seconds later, it was Maylia Lohman who rang one off the post after Vicencio let her shot go through, believing it to be well wide. It wasn’t wide by much.
Rock Springs was stronger on the ball Friday. They looked like a team that wanted it more.
“They won the majority of the 50-50 balls out of the air. That’s something we need to work on and something we did better the next day,” Flanagan said.
Jackson 3 Green River 1
Fresh off the frustrating loss, the Jackson girls wanted to return home and blow the doors off the Lady Wolves. For the first 39 minutes and 50 seconds they did just that. Only the score was still 0-0 in the waning seconds of the 1st half.
It certainly wasn’t for the lack of effort. The Lady Broncs took the game to Green River in every aspect, much of the 1st half played in the Wolves’ third of the field.
Five minutes in, a typical Flanagan rush up the right wing, a stutter step around the defender and a clear scoring opportunity missed.
Not long after, a corner kick punched away by Wolves keeper Rilee Rodgers went right to Piper Lee who banged her rebound shot off a defender. A second try went off another body. Then Alva Rosa had two golden opportunities in close but both shots were blocked by Green River players. Taya McLennen was also denied in close by Rodgers.
A free kick from Davis at the 13:05 mark made it to a streaking Albany McCooey on the right side. McCooey centered to Michelle Vargas Ramirez who fought off two larger defenders in the box to find a wide-open Ella Steinberg, but the freshman fired it right into Rodgers, who swallowed it up.
Jackson goalkeeper Sidney Nash, who had a quiet day of it, was called upon to make a stellar save with 11:15 to go in the 1st to keep it scoreless.
Lohman tried one of her patented bombs from 40 yards out but Rodgers made the save. At the 3:54 mark off a throw-in from Natalie Joralemon, it was Flanagan and McClennen with a pretty give-and-go but Flanagan’s shot went just wide.
The Broncs buzzed the box the entire opening 39 minutes but had nothing to show for it as the end of the half neared. Time to panic? Lesser teams would have.
“There were some feelings like we should have been doing better than what showed on the scoreboard,” Flanagan admitted. “But we don’t get down on ourselves. We keep working. Especially when we don’t see the results or things going our way, we keep putting in the work and trust in ourselves.”
While Jackson was unable to put the ball in the net, Green River wasn’t finding much success either. In the few times they managed to muster some offensive pressure, the calm, cool d-back Brooklyn Hills—who had her best game Saturday—simply shut it down.
At the 21-minute mark in the 1st, Hills was at her best. Caught gambling on offense, she made up ground after a forward got in behind her momentarily, caught the player and pushed her off the ball with physicality. Moments later, it was Green River’s Zella Maez trying to beat Hills one-on-one. No dice.
“Brooklyn’s always good,” Flanagan said. “She’s always one of our best players on the pitch, and that’s why she is a captain.”
Hills’ backend play gives her team notable confidence boosts. The steady defender always knows what she is going to do with the ball before she gets it. The poise, the vision. She never appears flustered or out of position.
The offensive pressure from Jackson was relentless in the final four minutes until, finally, Melissa Morillon Jimenez made a nifty back pass to McClennen who worked the ball ahead to Flanagan who beat Rodgers with a beautiful shot with only 1:29 left on te clock in the 1st half.
But wait. Offsides. Again.
With 10 seconds left in the half, Alva Rosa and Morillon Jimenez were in alone behind the defense tracking down a perfect touch lob. Alva Rosa chipped a shot over Rodgers, who ignored Morillon Jimenez, seeing Alva Rosa as the bigger threat. In it went for the game’s first score.

Jackson made it 2-0 midway through the 2nd half after a Piper Lee throw in to Steinberg. The freshman who was denied earlier, fired a laser from 15 yards out just inside the far post for her first ever goal.
With minutes left in the contest, Alva Rosa kept a ball alive at the end line, drive toward the goal before sending a perfect crossing pass to Flanagan who stepped into in stride and blasted it by Rodgers for a 3-0 lead.
Green River spoiled the shutout in the last minutes after contact from Alva Rosa gave the Wolves a free kick. Defender Ella Stanton floated one in the box where Dalya Salcedo got position and booted it past Nash to make it 3-1.

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