Arbor View and Coronado played to a scoreless draw when they met in the opener of the Southern Nevada girls soccer season.
This time, more is on the line. And a tie won’t settle it.
The Aggies (17-1-1) and Cougars (15-2-3) will meet in the Class 4A Southern Nevada championship game at 4 p.m. today at Bettye Wilson Park, with both sides expecting a more exciting match than the one they saw at the last meeting.
“(The first meeting) was a really good game,” Arbor View coach Jay Howard said. “Now, we’ve grown a ton, and I’m sure they have, too, so I expect a really, really good game.”
Both teams will lean heavily on goalkeeping, with Arbor View boasting talented senior Alex Luevano-Harden, an Akron signee who has registered 13 shutouts on the year. Two-time Sunrise Region champion Coronado fields freshman Kaitlyn Fahrner, who has allowed only nine goals all season.
“I’ve been quoted as saying it before, and I still believe it: (Luevano-Harden is) the best keeper I’ve ever had, and she’s the best in the city right now,” Howard said.
Neither team will take the other for granted.
“They’re a very strong team,” Coronado coach Dana Neel said. “We just have to focus on playing our game.”
It’s a focus that already has taken the Cougars on a surprising postseason run, defeating Southeast League rivals Green Valley and Silverado, against which Coronado was a combined 0-2-2 in the regular season.
“It feels great. (Beating those teams is) a great accomplishment for our team,” said forward Breanna Robinson, who tallied the decisive goal in Tuesday’s Sunrise Region final against the Skyhawks.
For Arbor View, a win would make amends for last season, when Bishop Gorman bounced the Aggies from the playoffs in a rescheduled postseason after Arbor View originally reached the Sunset Region final.
“What happened last year gave us a huge drive; we wanted it that much more,” Luevano-Harden said. “We still would’ve wanted either way, but that gave us the extra desire to win.”