Artesia freshman Marilee Aranda slips the ball past Clovis High sophomore Danielle Valdez with a header in Tuesday’s girls soccer match at Yucca Complex.
Keli Helm said she was lucky to score one goal, much less two. If Clovis High girls soccer coach Shane Leatherwood has anything to say about it, she’ll be doing more of that in the future.
Helm slipped a couple of shots into the back of the net, breaking a 1-1 tie in the second half, and the Lady Wildcats went on to a 3-2 victory over Artesia on Tuesday at Yucca Complex.
The goals were the first this season for Helm, a senior forward in her third year on the varsity.
“I never shoot,” said Helm, adding that her only previous varsity goals came in a match last year against the CHS junior varsity squad during an early-season tournament. “They just happened to come to me.
“We had a lot of ‘through’ balls today, and that helped us a lot.”
Both goals by Helm came on good opportunities in front of the net. The first was off a centering pass from senior Lora Esquivel with about 8 1/2 minutes gone in the second half.
Helm scored again from in front in the 58th minute, taking a feed from sophomore Audrey Rodela to give the Lady Cats (3-7) a 3-1 lead.
“We need her to score,” Leatherwood said of Helm. “If she can start doing that, it helps us a lot because she does everything else so well.”
Junior forward Randi Smith scored both goals for Artesia (3-6). Her second tally, though, came with only 11 seconds left in the match.
“We just didn’t play up to our potential,” Lady Bulldogs coach Christy Boyd said. “Traveling is hard, and I don’t think we moved around enough (to warm up) before the game.
“Clovis did a good job of taking us out of our game plan.”
Junior Stephenie Aguilar scored the Lady Cats’ first goal, putting in her own rebound just past the midway point of the half. Smith tied it later in the period, getting an assist from junior midfielder Melanie Grim.
“We had lots of opportunities (to score),” Leatherwood said. “We missed probably three or four (shots) right in front of the goal in the first half.”
Helm said the Lady Cats hope to get something going as they move toward District 4-5A play in a few weeks.
“We hope to keep the winning thing going,” she said.
Clovis won the junior varsity preliminary 2-0 as sophomore Katharine Cordova punched in both goals.