EMHS girls brave severe weather, beat ATC for first victory of season

East Mountain's Mia Santistevan launching a cross-pass at the start of last Saturday's game against ATC. Photos by G. Demarest.

East Mountain High’s girls soccer squad notched its first win of the season last Saturday but the Lady Timberwolves had to battle two opponents to do it: the Academy for Technology and the Classics—a charter school from Santa Fe—and the weather.

Early in the game a thunderstorm roared through Sandia Park forcing the players to brave rain, hail, and a lightning delay before the Lady T’Wolves eventually downed the Lady Phoenixes 11-1.

Seven different East Mountain players scored in the mercy-rule-shortened contest, including hat tricks—three goals—by both Delilah Chavez and Hannah Linder.

It was the inaugural victory for first-year head coach John Sabrowski. “It wasn’t our intent to mercy-rule them. I was hoping the girls could get some more work in,” Sabrowski said.

Aspen Sveum. surrounded by ATC defenders, looks for a teammate to pass the ball to. Photo by G. Demarest.

Mia Gutierrez got East Mountain on the board when she took a cross-pass from Aspen Sveum and tapped it in from 5 yards out. Four minutes later, Chavez intercepted a kick from ATC’s goalkeeper and nailed a 20-yarder for her first goal of the contest.

In the 14th minute, the officials cleared the field and suspended play for 30 minutes due to lightning. Two minutes after play resumed, Kimberly Stephenson’s goal gave East Mountain a 3-0 lead.

The weather intensified with a brief burst of BB-sized hail. “It was bad,” East Mountain’s senior center-midfielder Mia Santistevan said. “It was really hard to keep your eyes open.”

The head referee said if the hail had continued he would’ve stopped the game. But the hail subsided and the game went on as the girls’ saturated jerseys clung to their bodies.

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In the 22nd minute, Santisteven knocked in East Mountain’s fourth goal from 15 yards out. “Their goalie was trying to drop-kick the ball and she fumbled it, and I was like, ‘That’s a free ball!’” Santistevan said. “It was the ugliest goal I’ve ever shot but I made it somehow.”

After Chavez’s second goal made it a 5-0 game, ATC got on the board.

Eight minutes before halftime, East Mountain junior Jaymee Roark scored her first-ever varsity goal. Roark immediately wheeled toward midfield jumping and rejoicing. “I’ve been waiting two years for this so I was really pumped,” Roark said.

Early in the second half, Linder scored her first goal to put the Lady T’Wolves up 7-1.

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Then, East Mountain went on a tear—scoring four goals in four minutes: Emma Burward-Hoy scored in the 51st; Chavez scored her final goal in the 52nd; and Linder nailed the final two in consecutive minutes.

Linder’s first goal came off a blocked shot that came right back to her and she punched it in. The final goal came as ATC’s keeper came out of the 5-yard box and fell—and Linder took it in unguarded.

With the Lady T’Wolves ahead by 10 goals, the head official blew the final whistle, ending the game in the 54th minute. “I finally got pulled out of defense so I took the opportunity,” Linder said, adding, “I just had so much drive to score a goal that I just kinda went all out.”

East Mountain played Portales Tuesday after The Independent went to print. The Lady T’Wolves travel to Taos this weekend for a two-day, three-game tournament.