Nitros go out on a winning note

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — No matter the teams' overall records, Glendale High versus Hoover in any sport will have at least some significance.

For its girls' soccer teams, their respective seasons were struggles but both squads looked to end down years on a high note Thursday afternoon at Glendale High.

After a see-saw affair in the first half of the Pacific League match, the Nitros controlled possession in the second and avenged a scoreless tie with the Tornadoes earlier in the season to take the season finale, 3-0.

"There was too much emotion in the first half, everyone wanted to score," said first-year Nitros Coach Victor Aquino of his squad, which carries 10 seniors. "We had a talk at halftime, and you saw what happened."

Glendale's Ashley Aquino got the scoring started with her strike from 30 yards out that sailed over Hoover goalkeeper Yvonne Cruz's reach.

The goal came after Alex Udarbe drove down the field into the penalty box, which led to an unsuccessful corner kick. The possession was maintained by Glendale (4-12-4, 3-9-2), however, giving Aquino an open look at the shot on goal.

"I saw it, and knew that we needed to score," Aquino said. "We wanted this."

Ten minutes later, Udarbe was in the middle of another Nitros goal as her corner ended up in front of the Hoover net and eventually was put in by Sheila Araji for the insurance goal.

Glendale kept attacking through the half, which led to its third goal — this one from Isabella Montano, whose ball was knocked down by Cruz on impact but hit hard enough that it made its way to the back of the net.

Montano and Sonnia Jaramillo both had shots saved by Cruz just before the team's third goal. Cruz finished the game with seven saves.

On the other end, Hoover managed just three shots on goal in the second half of the contest after five in the first.

Three offside calls during a six-minute stretch prevented golden chances for the Tornadoes (4-11-2, 1-10-2).

"They were well-organized defensively," Tornadoes Coach Donal Kennedy said. "When we did exploit, we didn't take advantage of our chances."

Kennedy attributed the second-half woes to a lack of depth and fatigue, while Aquino was happy to end his team's season on a winning note.

"It's always nice beating Hoover," said Aquino. "This closes out a season in which I saw a big improvement from previous years."

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