Tuesday’s non-conference battle between Class 1A No. 8 Gilbert and host Perry featured two of the top four goal scorers in the state, but in the end, it was Tiger junior Olivia Stearns, and not Jayette freshman Natalie Martinez, who put on an offensive show.
Stearns, who is tied for the statewide lead with 23 goals in eight games, scored three times in the second half and Gilbert (7-1) simply wore down the Perry (5-4) defense while stifling any Jayette attempts to make something happen on offense.
The teams played a scoreless first half, with Amparo Menendez making three saves in goal for the hosts.
Stearns scored less than five minutes into the second half, with Emily Branson scoring 20 minutes later for a 2-0 lead. Constant pressure by the Tigers slowly sapped the energy from the Jayette defense, with goalie Carly Anderson’s eight saves preventing the game from getting completely out of hand.
Martinez has 19 goals in nine games to rank fourth in the state, a reputation that drew two or more defenders whenever she possessed the ball. The frosh fired two shots on goal before leaving with an ankle injury in midway through the second half. The severity of the injury did not appear, sources told ThePerryNews.com, to be excessive, and she was taken from the game largely as a precaution.
Gilbert scored in the 75th minute, then struck again in the waning minutes to complete the 4-0 win.
The Jayette junior varsity was also in action Tuesday. Perry fell into a 3-0 hole before battling back with a pair of goals after the break. Unfortunately, the hosts could not produce a third score and fell, 3-2. Anderson had six saves in the first half and Karen Romero two in the second half.
Bailey Cmelik scored in the 63rd minute off a Jaelin Waddle pass, with Waddle adding an unassisted goal several minutes later for the hosts.
PERRY 4, DES MOINES CHRISTIAN 1
DES MOINES — Martinez and Sydney Guerra each scored in the first half as Perry recorded a 4-1 victory over Des Moines Christian in non-conference action Monday.
Grace Marburger beat the keeper for the third Perry goal, with Guerra assisting on a Martinez goal to cap the Jayette scoring.
Due to low numbers for DMC, no junior varsity game was played.
Perry will return to action Friday when they host Newton for a non-conference tilt, with JV action starting at 5:30 p.m.