The Chaparral girls soccer team has done it again. On Saturday, the team won their fourth consecutive state championship, the second at the 6A level, beating the No. 7 Hamilton 4-0. The girls celebrated their victory by holding up four fingers as cameras flashed around them.
Led by senior forward Isabella Struckman’s three goals, the top-ranked Firebirds dominated the match, putting pressure on Hamilton’s back line throughout the first half. Despite numerous trips inside Hamilton’s box, the two teams remained scoreless through the first 40 minutes of play.
Chaparral’s coach Robyn Carlson said, “The girls came out with an intensity and drive, I’m just so proud of them. We went at it first half, but we knew we had to keep up our intensity, and the goals would come.”
Finally, in the 42nd minute, the Firebirds broke the tie, with Struckman’s shot going across the face of the Huskies goalkeeper and into the far side of the net. The Firebirds continued their relentless pressure, with Struckman scoring again eight minutes later, followed by freshman middle fielder Sami Fisher, who extended Chaparral’s lead to three goals.
Hamilton tried to answer Chaparral’s goals on several occasions late in the second half, but their corner kicks were sent away by defenders, and clean looks at the net were corralled by Firebirds goalkeeper Avery Fletcher, who had five saves on the night.
The meeting between Chaparral and Hamilton was the third during the 2019-20 season. On Dec. 17, the first meeting, the two teams tied 1-1. On Dec. 30 in the Arizona Soccer Showcase, Hamilton won 2-0.
Chaparral’s redemption was also a family affair for Carlson, whose two daughters, Lauren, a junior, and Mikaela, a freshman, are both on the varsity roster. Carlson said, “Just to see all of these girls start off as freshman and learn from the seniors to now, it’s an amazing feeling.”