On Thursday afternoon, the Dodge City Middle School Lady Cardinal soccer squad traveled to Garden City looking for a perfect regular season for both the A and B teams.


On Thursday afternoon, the Dodge City Middle School Lady Cardinal soccer squad traveled to Garden City looking for a perfect regular season for both the A and B teams.
     Both sides have been fairly dominant over the past couple of months, piling goals on top of their opponents before they even had a chance to realize what was going on.
     Standing in the way of their two 8-0 seasons was Garden City Kenneth Henderson, a team that the Cardinals had handled quite easily the first go-around. But, without a starting defender who was injured in the Abe Hubert game, head coach John Bouchard was interested to see how his defense would react with a jumble in the lineup.
     Despite being a little shorthanded on the defensive end, one weapon that never misfires is standout forward Pam Rosales. She accounted for all four of Dodge City’s goals in the A-team matchup, as the Cardinals completed their perfect regular season with a 4-1 victory.

Early strike
     Dodge City struck first early in the opening half as Rosales slid one past the Henderson keeper to give the Cardinals a one-goal advantage. But they were thrown a curveball, as Henderson answered back with a goal of its own. It was one of the first goals given up by the Cardinals that didn’t involve the other team scoring on a penalty kick.
     While the girls had been delivered a shock to their system, Bouchard said that their look of disgust turned into a fierce gleam of determination.
     “You could see it in their eyes that they were telling themselves that they weren’t going to let this happen,” he said. “They were definitely stunned by what had happened, but we failed to mark up their player and they made a good goal. It was the last time they were going to let that occur.”
     The Cardinals responded in true winning form, firing off three rapid-fire goals within a 10-minute span at the end of the first half — all from Rosales' foot. All three goals came on breakaways from Rosales, who ends the regular season with an eye-popping 31 goals to her credit to go along with seven assists.
     But even though she may get all the acclaim for scoring such a vast amount of goals, Rosales is quick to point out that it’s because of the play of her teammates that she is given the opportunity to score so frequently.
     “I owe all four of my goals today to the whole team. If it wasn’t for them, then I don’t think I would’ve accomplished what I did,” she said. “We win as a team, and we accomplish things as a team.”
     Throughout the second half, the Cardinals were rotating players in and out of the game in an attempt to give Bouchard's starters a breather as they head into the ARMS League tournament on May 1. Dodge City is tentatively scheduled to face off with Abe Hubert, which has given the Cardinals their greatest challenges this season.
     The Hawks play a solid five-defenseman, four-midfielder formation, which has given the Cardinals fits in two contests by clogging the shooting lanes. Bouchard is hopeful that the Hawks might switch things up in an attempt to psych out Dodge.
     “They have played us tougher than anybody else during the season, and I kinda hope they change up their formation because we have had trouble with what they give us,” he said. “It will also be interesting to see how we respond with our defensive player out, but I know our girls want to bring her back a first-place medal from the tournament as a way to thank her for what she’s done for us.”

Another winning streak
     The B team also captured perfection with a 2-0 win over Kenneth Henderson, as Julia Enriquez scored both goals for the Cardinals. They end their year with an 8-0 record, successfully running through the ARMS League just as the A team did.
     For the season, Aneth Morales led the B team with 17 goals, while Enriquez had six assists. Both teams combined for an astounding 80 goals while allowing just six, with most of those coming via penalty kicks.
     Now the Cardinals will gear up for the league tournament, which is set to take place May 1 in Dodge City.