NIAA Girls Soccer 5A Northern Region Championship, November 5, 2022

It’s been a long LONG time since I’ve “blogged” so I thought I’d start with the end of the season Girls 5A Northern Region Championship game!

If you’d like to skip to the images…

I’ve been around the area shooting regional sports since 2007 but today was the first time I got to… let’s just say “experience” the wind at McQueen High School… To say it’s remarkable is an understatement… it was BLOWING HARD today! Wow! But it didn’t seem to deter the girls from getting after it on the pitch today!

To give you a little background… McQueen came into this game as the #2 seed coming out of the regular season. Galena arrived as the #5 seed which meant they had to play away at Carson on Monday… being the #2 seed, McQueen had a first round bye. Monday Galena squeaked past Carson with a 78th+ minute go ahead goal to win 2-1. They then faced the #1 seed at Reed on Wednesday, they won on Penalty Kicks after the two 15 minute over time periods. McQueen faced Douglas on Wednesday at Wooster (did I mention it snowed Tuesday…) and were able to win 1-0. So heading into this game Galena had already played just shy of 5 halves of play in two games, McQueen played a single game…. to back up a quick second, during the regular season, Galena v McQueen resulted in two 1-1 ties, home and away….

From the start to the last whistle of the second overtime game it was game on for both teams. Both had some action in front of the goal and some balls bouncing around in front of the goal but nothing that wasn’t handled by the defense and we ended regulation and overtime at 0-0. (seemed familiar from the regular season results)

Onto Penalty Kicks… There’s always a lot of debate about penalty kicks…. some people like them, some people hate them… I’ve been involved with this game for 43 years now and I look at it like this… they’re a part of the game, you NEED to practice them to be good at them, you know it’s a part of the game so shame on you if you haven’t worked on them (you’ve likely worked for YEARS on other things, this should be added to the list, ESPECIALLY right before a tournament…).

To say a penalty shootout is nerve-racking is an understatement… I’ve been in several over the years as a player (not as a coach yet) and I was in the first five shooters… fortunately I converted (at least in the shootouts…).

The cruelty of the game and the shootout today snagged McQueen and gave Galena the Northern Region Championship.

Both teams will go on to play in the State Championship Tournament down in the Vegas area next week. Good Luck to both teams in Vegas, Rep Northern Nevada with your heads held high, we’re all rooting for you!

Onto the photos… it was a beautiful day aside from the wind… for photos, overcast is always good, kills the really hard shadows and you can somewhat still get away with shooting in any direction on the field… I still shoot from the south end of the fields when possible just incase the sun peaks out. I’ve tried to pick some photos that show the intensity of the game… The full gallery can be found here…