Nevada girls lose defensive showdown with No. 3 Gilbert, 1-0: Cubs top Indianola to snap losing skid

Joe Randleman
Nevada Journal
Nevada's Isabelle Nelson makes her way toward the goal against tight defense by Gilbert's Keara O'Brien during the final minutes of the Cubs' 1-0 loss to the Tigers April 22 at the SCORE Athletic Complex in Nevada.

GILBERT - The ninth-ranked (Class 1A) Nevada girls' soccer team played its game over the final 15 minutes in a showdown with third-ranked Gilbert April 22 at the SCORE Athletic Complex in Nevada.

But the Cubs couldn't overcome an early Tiger goal in a 1-0 loss.

Gilbert's Sydney Lynch scored the game's only goal 14 minutes, five seconds into the first half off a great ball from Bella Saad. The two teams then went back and forth the rest of the half and for nearly 25 minutes into the second half in a defensive struggle typical of an outing between two elite programs.

In the final 15 minutes Nevada made a formation change and really turned up the pressure. The Cubs got off multiple shots, including a nice cross with four minutes left that was snared by Gilbert keeper Emma Bulman. 

Nevada's Savannah Skaggs goes to clear the ball away from Gilbert's Natalie Rudman during the Cubs' 1-0 loss to the Tigers April 22 in Nevada.

Nevada's best opportunity came off a perfect corner kick from Tori Meinecke with eight minutes left. The ball was beautifully placed in front of the goal, forcing Bulman to come out and knock it away.

But the Tiger keeper couldn't gain control of the ball. She was forced to knock it to the ground, giving Nevada a shot to slip something through amidst the chaos.

But the Gilbert defense managed to clear it in the nick of time. 

The loss was the Cubs’ third in a row as they dropped to 3-4 on the season. Nevada also fell to an Adel-Desoto-Minburn team ranked 10th in 2A by a 1-0 score April 21 and to a North Polk squad rated fourth in 2A by a 3-1 margin April 16. 

“We’ve just got to play with a more concentrated effort for a whole game instead of 15 minutes,” Nevada head coach Randy Davis said. “We maybe changed a formation in there and pushed harder, but we’ve got to be better for the whole game.” 

But Davis was encouraged by the way his team played in the final minutes against Gilbert. 

“When you see what we do for 15 minutes and turn that around and play that way the whole game it’s a whole different ballgame,” Davis said. “It’s just getting that final stage. We’ve just got to put the connections together as a team. We’ll get there.”

Nevada dropped its fourth in a row Friday with a 4-0 setback to a Dallas Center-Grimes team ranked 11th in 2A at Grimes. But the Cubs broke out of their funk Monday with a 4-1 victory over Indianola at Cub Stadium in Nevada.

The Nevada girls took a 1-0 lead over Indianola at the half then pulled away with three goals over the final 40 minutes to improve to 4-5.

Mayzi Weig had one goal and assist apiece, Meinecke, Savannah Skaggs and Alexandria Arnaud each netted one goal and Kayla Dunson came up with an assist for Nevada in the win. Cub keeper Addi Vorm made three saves to help secure the victory.

Gilbert 1, Nevada 0 

G    1   0 – 1 

N    0   0 – 0 

Scoring 

First half 

G – Sydney Lynch (Bella Saad), 14:05.