After losing the season opener, Perry girls soccer has been virtually unstoppable, and moreover, has a star on the verge of a supernova season.
Des Moines North found out the hard way as the Jayettes took an early 1-0 lead Tuesday night on the road. That would have been enough to walk away with another W. Instead, the Jayettes ran circles around the Polar Bears en route to a 7-0 win with star senior Natalie Martinez posting five goals herself.
It’s not as if North came in with a weak reputation. They shellacked Grand View Christian the week prior 7-1, but in storms Martinez with a goal in the game’s first three minutes, followed by three more within the first 20 minutes to take a 4-0 lead, swiftly executing head coach Gilmar Guerra’s gameplan.
“When I told the girls they were going to be aggressive weak we tried to stay on after they got it on the field,” Guerra said. “Now that we’re close to their goal, we’re going to score easy.”
He also highlighted that the shutout win is as much a testament to the team as it is to the singular Martinez. All told, she posted five goals (two fewer than her career-high) but it wouldn’t be possible with the swarming Jayette offense providing the attention at the right moments.
“I do believe that my teammates did work together like we’ve been practicing,” Martinez said, nursing a lingering leg injury. “It showed what we do at practice into the game and that really helped with the goals and then connecting the passes.”
Though the scoreboard left little else for fans in blue and white to want, Guerra was quick to bring up how important it will be in the coming weeks to find a complement to Martinez. He said she’s two goals away from the Perry career goal record (86) but the more she becomes a focal point, the more opponents will gameplan around her abilities.
Martinez’s 15-minute hat trick certainly puts a spotlight on her that should come with a fire hazard warning on the field, yet the Jayettes still found ways Tuesday to spread the wealth. Kailey Crawford made it a five-point game to end the half and was the lone scorer in the second period, breaking away from the Martinez express.
Overall, it doesn’t look like there’s much stopping Martinez and company. Not only did they shutout an opponent that put up seven points previously, but over the last three games, the Jayettes have two shutouts and hold a 23-1 margin of victory.
If that holds up, they won’t have a problem taking the conference like Martinez said she has confidence they can win.
Next up for the Jayettes is Bondurant-Farrar (2-1) in Perry on Tuesday, April 16.