There is a reason why Jorian Baucom is one of the top female high school soccer players in Arizona and the nation and why she will play collegiately at LSU.
It is because of plays like the one she made for Phoenix Pinnacle on Monday night (Dec. 16).
With 8:35 left in the second half of overtime, the senior forward emerged from a scramble to the right of the goal, spun quickly and used her left foot to direct the ball into the extremely narrow space between the Anthem Boulder Creek goalkeeper and the goal post.
The ball somehow made it through to the back of the net, and Baucom and her teammates held on for a big 2-1 road victory in a matchup of two of the state’s top Division I teams. Pinnacle’s win erased some of the disappointment from a 1-0 loss to Boulder Creek in the recent Horizon Tournament.
What made Baucom’s goal all the more impressive was that she left the game in the second half of regulation when she was kicked in the ankle and was on the ground for a few minutes.
“What you saw on that play was why she is such a good player. She is capable of making a play like that at just about any time,’’ said Pinnacle coach Suzanne Kirchner.
Kirchner might have to lay low for a bit after this one. She admitted she lives in Anthem, not far from Boulder Creek.
“My kids might end up going here some day. I respect the people at Boulder Creek. They have a good team here and good sports programs. For now, though, I’m for Pinnacle,’’ she said.
After a scoreless first half, Pinnacle took a 1-0 lead on a penalty-kick goal by Gabriela Stoian with 35:53 left in regulation. Baucom went out for several minutes at the 24:24 mark, and Boulder Creek managed to tie it at 1 on a penalty kick of its own with 9:02 left, by Kyle Escobedo.
Boulder Creek kept the pressure on in the closing minutes of regulation, but was unable to score again.
Kirchner said she kept telling her players “to close their eyes and see the end of the game and what it would feel like to come out of here with a win. How It takes everybody making plays for us to be successful.’’