Fire FC girls advance at West regional

The Grand Junction Fire FC girls soccer team reached the final eight at the Far West Regional Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M., in dramatic fashion.

The Fire earned a 1-0 win Wednesday over Rio Vista FC ZIA 97 of New Mexico to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.

“We heard they were tough defensively, and they lived up to it,” Fire FC coach Alex Chaffetz said. “It was tied 0-0 at halftime, and we knew if we won the game we’d advance.”

The Fire responded in the second half when Taylor Chaffetz set up Courtney Barger for the only goal of the game.

Fire FC finished group play 2-1 with six points, behind Flight C winner Leahi 97 Premier of Hawaii.

Fire FC takes on Sereno 97 White of Arizona at 2 p.m. on Friday. Sereno won flight B with nine points.

“That club has won seven of eight age group state championships in Arizona. They are a powerhouse,” Alex Chaffetz said. “We have to have everything go our way, but we’ve showed we can compete with the best.”

Chaffetz said the Fire lost to Serano 2-0 last February, but the Fire also lost to the Utah state champion before Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Utah Avalanche 97 Black.

“The girls are excited,” Chaffetz said. “They know they have to have a great game to move on because at this point every team is great.”


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