If Navarro's women's soccer team was looking for an impressive warmup game before facing top-ranked Tyler Saturday, they found it Wednesday afternoon in a 14-1 romp over Trinity Valley.
Navarro, ranked No. 13 in the nation, always gives Tyler a lot of trouble, and is usually the only team Tyler plays in the regular season that is talented enough to beat the Apaches.
The showdowns are always intense and Tyler always plays a very physical game when the two rivals meet. Tyler defeated Navarro 3-0 in the first meeting this season and the two national powers will likely meet in the playoffs. Both should advance to the national tournament. All those reasons and more (as in an intense and controversial rivalry) make the two conference games the best of the regular season.
Navarro had no trouble beating TVCC at home on Wednesday in a tune-up for Tyler.
It was a big day for Nathi Rojas, who scored five goals and handed out three assists, and Rafiatu Alhassan, who scored four goals and had two assists. Alhassan, who has scored 13 goals during the six-game winning streak, had three goals in the first 10 minutes Wednesday to help Navarro run out to a 4-0 lead.
Rojas scored the first goal of the game on an assist from Alhassan, who scored off an assist from Rojas to make it 2-0, and then slammed home an unassisted goal and then scored her third goal off an assist from Melissa Olivares to give Navarro a 4-0 lead.
Then the Rojas-Borja combo took over as Guinevere Borjas scored off an assist from Rojas, and then returned the favor with back-to-back assists to Rojas, who scored twice to make it 7-0. She went to the break with three goals and and two assists to help Navarro build a 10-1 halftime lead.
She assisted on Jada Brown's goal that lifted the Bulldogs to an 8-0 cushion before Navarro closed out the half with an unassisted goal from Janay Matos and a goal by Melike Dencil off an assist by Jayven Howrath.
The Bulldogs added four goals in the second half. Borja picked her third assist -- all three to Rojas - and then scored her second goal on an assist from Kaede Yamaguchi, who has been on fire during the six-game run.
Rojas made it 13-1 with an assist from Alhassan, who scored the final goal off an assist from Howarth.
But this was just a warmup for what should be Navarro (and Tyler's) biggest regular season game of the year.