Nitros dispatch cross-town rival

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Once Ashley Aquino got to around the 20-yard line, she liked her chances to score.

What the Glendale High girls soccer player needed was a perfect shot. She got it and helped Glendale get the best of its cross-town rival in the first of two head-to-head meetings.

Aquino scored in the 30th minute to spark host Glendale to a 2-0 victory against Hoover on Friday afternoon in a Pacific League match.

Aquino, a senior midfielder, corralled a loose ball and dribbled up to about the 20-yard line and lofted a shot past the outstretched arms of Hoover goalkeeper Yvonne Cruz.

"I've taken shots from there and have scored before," said Aquino, who scored a similar goal from that location during a match against Hoover last season. "I saw the goalie and the shot went in.

"We've improved a lot since the beginning [of league], we can win, but we have to put a lot more effort into it."

Glendale (3-8-2, 2-5 in league) received a goal from Arianna Nunez in the 70th minute to seal the victory. Hoover, which dropped to 3-7, 1-6, couldn't generate many scoring opportunities.

Glendale goalkeeper Ashley Hermosillo made four saves, while Cruz stopped six shots for the Tornadoes.

"We wanted to attack them and our defense stepped up," said Glendale Coach Victor Aquino, Ashley's older brother. "Hoover is Hoover and it doesn't matter what the records are because it's a rivalry game and both teams stepped it up.

"On the goal by Ashley, when she's on the run on any ball between 20 and 30 yards, she'll get it in."

The Tornadoes' best scoring chance came in the 54th minute, when Lori Berberian lined a free kick just over the crossbar. That came about three minutes after Glendale's Natalie Harmon sent a 25-yard shot over the right post.

Hoover Coach Donal Kennedy said the Tornadoes struggled throughout the first half before showing some signs of improvement in the final 40 minutes.

"It was a real ugly first half, but then we gained some momentum in the second half," Kennedy said. "Goals are momentum changers.

"We just have to take the positives from this game in that we worked hard. The [scoring] chances were few and far between. I have no qualms with the effort. We just came up short."

The teams will meet at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Hoover in a regular-season finale.

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