Grant Leveque
ASU Student Journalist

Casteel girls' soccer narrowly defeats Desert Mountain, 4-3

February 3, 2022 by Grant Leveque, Arizona State University

Casteel head coach Jason Hammond lets his team get fired up pregame. (Grant Leveque photo/AZPreps365)

Grant Leveque is an ASU Cronkite School of Journalism student assigned to cover Casteel High School for

Casteel's girls’ soccer gritted out the win over Desert Mountain Thursday, 4-3, as the Colts went on to win their eighth game this year.

Right out of the gate, the Wolves came roaring through Casteel's defense, scoring within the first minute of the game.

Not too long after the slow start, junior Morgan Fiedler weaved through the Wolves' defense and scored a chip shot right over the goalie to tie the game.

"The first couple minutes are always rough, you are just getting on the field, and you have the jitters," Fiedler said. "Once we came back, I knew we could score some more."

"My team brings me a bunch of happiness, it's hard to explain," she added.

The game was full of aggressive defensive play from both sides. At the half, it was 2-1, Colts up.

During the half, head coach Jason Hammonds had said to his team, "share what you see." He elaborated after the game.

"There is a lot of times that if you see something and somebody else doesn't, like if you have the ball and somebody's crawling up your back, it's very difficult to see that," he said. "So knowing where we play and who we are, saying names, saying find Corrine (senior), find Corrine, you'll know that she is the outside back, or find Brooke (senior) down the middle, its stuff like that."

Coming out of the half in the lead, the Colts expanded their lead to 3-1 at one point.

As the cold night continued, as did the Wolves. They made quick work with two goals to Casteel's one, making the score 4-3, with five minutes remaining.

As the clock was ticking, Desert Mountain was desperately looking for the goal to tie it up.

Ariel Bernard, Casteel's goalkeeper, wouldn't let that slide.

Constantly yelling commands for her defenders and keeping a keen eye for when to react, she had it going for the Colts defense all game.

Rylee Rustad, a junior, had stuck to any player the whole night, clearing the ball in times when Desert Mountain had a chance to score.

"We started off slow, but once we figured out that we just needed to connect the ball, find key placements and play simple, then we were really able to open it up and be able to press forward," Rustad said. "For defense, we just needed to squeeze in a lay your body on the line."

This leadership from not just one or two players, but the whole team is what gave Casteel the edge over Desert Mountain.

Now, the 8-1 Colts can prepare and ready themselves for senior night against the 7-2 Higley Knights at home.