2013 HS 5A Girls Soccer – Arvada West at Ralston Valley

I thought the USMNT game against Costa Rica was bad weather wise, but man, the match up at the North Area Athletic Complex on Monday night between the Arvada West Lady Wildcats and the host Lady Mustangs of Ralston Valley was something different.  The weather was suppose to be up to 70 degrees on Monday, and when I got the the complex it was closer to 60 out, but it was still a nice afternoon.  The clouds had rolled in, and there was a slight breeze out, but not too bad.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The first half of the game was pretty even, with neither team finding the back of the net.  The home team Mustangs were in control for most of the 1st 40 minutes though, spending most of the time on the attack.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The winds were starting to pick up a little, but that did not keep the crowd out of it.  Being a rivalry game between the two schools, and both of them so close to the NAAC soccer field, this was the largest crowd I had seen so far for a high school league game.  More student fans than parents for once.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The lighting was a little low, but it was even.  I had decided prior to the game that I was just going to shoot with one camera.  I have been setting up a remote, but for two of the games last week, it was pointless because of the blowout and all the goals being scored at the other end (my remote would be shooting into the sun), so I just shot with my 7D on my 120-300 2.8.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

But with the even light, the A-West uniforms just popped.  That purple looked great with the green grass (grass seemed a lot nicer this week).  Unfortunately, with the overcast skies, the Ralston Valley white uniforms tended to blend into the bleachers and the sky.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The girl above was a joy to watch play.  She is only a freshman, but has obviously been playing club soccer for a while.  She had a good boot, could dive right into the fray even though she was a lot smaller than the rest of the players, was grabbing jerseys like a pro, and could flop pretty good too.  She needs to work on selling her flop a little more, but she will get better.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

When the second half started, the weather changed.  A steady wind of about 20mph started up with gusts up to 50mph.  It was making it difficult to hold my camera.  The gusts would catch my lens hood and my camera was bouncing all over the place.  It was tough for the players too.  On free kicks, the ball would start rolling away due to the wind.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The Ralston Valley goalie had the wind to her back and was kicking the ball further than she probably ever has before.  However, the A-West goalie was really struggling with the wind.  Kicking into it, she would get the ball almost to mid field before the wind would blow it back.  There were a couple kicks I thought she was going to be able to catch her own kick.  She ended up throwing the ball a bit more than kicking it due to the wind.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday's home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

April 8th, 2013: The Ralston Valley Mustangs girls soccer team won Monday’s home conference game against Arvada West by a score of 2-0.

The wind was so bitter cold and strong that with about 20 minutes left in the game I called it for myself.  Ralston Valley had taken a two goal lead, with a little help from the wind, and Arvada West was fighting an uphill battle and was not going to be able to come back.  I would love to see these two teams play again in good weather.

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit MaxPreps.com.

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