Girls Soccer: Mia Espino’s goals lift Young past Payton
Updated: May 8, 2012 10:32PM
Mia Espino had an unusual though legitimate excuse for missing the first third of Young’s soccer season. She was playing for Guatemala in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Panama City, Panama.
Now, the junior midfielder is back and the Dolphins are more dangerous than ever. “I think we’re a faster team with me in the lineup,” she said.
They have also lost just one game since her return.
Espino was the difference as she scored two second-half goals in breaking open a tight match that powered the Dolphins past Payton 3-1 in a Public League semifinal at Lane Stadium Tuesday night.
The victory propelled Young into the city final rematch against Lane Thursday night at Gately Stadium. Lane defeated the Dolphins in last year’s city final. The teams played to a 2-2 draw in April.
Young and Payton played to a 1-1 draw with Espino out of the lineup.
Senior midfielder Maggie Kindra and Azia Javier recorded assists for the Dolphins (14-6-4), who dominated the first half in possession time and creating scoring chances. Freshman forward Esme Kline scored in the 11th minute, taking advance of a free field and Javier’s pass to blast a ball into the right corner. “I usually miss those shots,” Kline said.
Corinne Harris, as usual, was the great equalizer for the Grizzlies (11-7-2). The senior forward scored her 28th goal of the season when she broke free, taking a through ball down the right sideline from Mackenzie Trumble that she converted into an electrifying goal by directing the ball past Young keeper Rachel Hobert.
Espino broke the tie in the 45th minute, alertly stepping in front of the Payton keeper to flick the ball past her for the 2-1 lead. “She made a play to come out, and I was lucky or fortunate enough to take advantage of her being out of the net and getting to the ball,” Espino said.
Holding the lead, the Dolphins had to try to slow down Harris, the Michigan recruit. On a free kick, Harris blasted a ball that Hobert narrowly corralled. She also got her head on a corner kick but the shot was awry.
“Young’s a great team, and they played great,” Harris said. “That’s how it goes sometimes. They got the result they wanted, but I’m very proud of the effort and how hard we played.”
Previously, Payton was 11-0-2 with Harris in the lineup.
Espino added an insurance score in the 79th minute on a sharp cross from Kindra. “I just wanted to finish it,” she said. “I knew they tied us during the season, and I was nervous about this game,” she said.
Attention moves to ending Lane’s reign. “Now we get our biggest rival, and we’re excited,” Kline said.