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Frank scores three goals in win over Buckeye
Despite a slow start from the Shamrock defense, Yuma Catholic forward Morgan Frank put the team on her shoulders with a hat trick Monday in a 6-3 win over Buckeye.
Within the first 16 minutes, Yuma Catholic and Buckeye exchanged goals five times, leaving the Shamrocks with a 3-2 lead.
“We started kind of slow,” said Yuma Catholic coach Jesus Quintana. “I think the girls had a lot on their mind with exams this week. A little concern with that and both Morgan and Karla (Navarro) are under the weather, but both of them stuck in there like the warriors they are.”
Navarro had the Shamrocks' first goal of the night, beating the goalie one on one for an easy dribble into the net. That opening goal was Navarro's team-leading 18th of the season.
The Shamrocks (10-1) ended the first half with a 4-2 lead.
“At halftime I talked to the girls mostly about their defense,” Quintana said. “We did some things on defense that we normally don't do as far as not being consistent and disciplined. We made a few mistakes and discussed that at halftime to adjust. We also wanted to control the ball a little bit more in the passing but Buckeye was playing pretty physical so the girls were trying to respond and to react a little bit quicker. But overall it was a good fight.”
After the Hawks were able to score in the 54th minute off of a corner kick, Frank put the game out of reach with her second and third goals of the night.
Her second came in the 58th minute, when Frank and Navarro toyed with the Buckeye defense, weaving in and out of defenders seamlessly. Frank knocked in the goal off a Navarro cross from 18 yards out to give the Shamrocks a 4-2 lead.
“(Navarro) and I are definitely on the same wavelength,” Frank said. “Ever since she came this year, she and I have just been working off each other and scoring goals left and right because we're definitely on the same frequency there.”
Navarro, a freshman, came onto the team and made an immediate impression on the coaches and her teammates.
“She has just picked up the game and accepted the challenge of being the other big contributor to the team,” Quintana said. “The thing that happened with Karla is she went right after that. In practices she actually was taking on Morgan during one versus one situations. She went after our best player and from there I think they developed a bond where they play very well off each other and sometimes they're reading the exact same play, seeing the exact same thing on the field.”
Despite the attention that comes with a hat trick performance, Frank was quick to credit her teammates.
“Mainly what won this game tonight was our teamwork,” Frank said. “We have great chemistry. We've got a good group of freshmen coming in that work so well as a team. It's not a one-person game. Yeah I got a lot of goals but it was a team effort. We've been working awesome as a team this year.”
The Shamrocks are off for the holiday break and travel to Gila Ridge at 6 p.m. Jan. 3 to play the Hawks.