Rachael Morgan scored two goals and goalkeeper Milena Keene was otherworldly in the first half as the St. Michael’s girls soccer team won the Class 1A/3A state soccer championship on Thursday.
Morgan scored just eight minutes into the match off an assist from Olivia Farrar, setting the stage for a methodical march toward the Lady Horsemen’s first blue trophy in a dozen years.
Freshman Elsa Ranney Smith made it 2-0 less than four minutes later, driving home a shot set up by Grace Sandoval’s feeder pass. From there it was the Keene Show as the junior ’keeper produced a number of highlight-reel moments over the final 24 minutes of the first half.
It started with her safely punching away a floater from outside the box, a ball that threatened the narrow window of space between the top of her head and the crossbar. It continued with a few down-and-dirty saves that turned away shots from Socorro’s Elise Madril and Lola Apodaca, a pair of players who had several quality scoring opportunities in the final 60-plus minutes.
Morgan added her second goal in the 47th minute, a cannon shot from five yards outside the box that made it 3-0. Nine minutes later, Farrar gathered a corner kick that worked its way through traffic and to the far side of Socorro’s goal. She knocked in the point-blank shot to make it 4-0, essentially putting the game out of reach.
Socorro did manage to score in the 72nd minute, snapping a Lady Horsemen scoreless streak that extended from the season opener in March.