MELBOURNE, Fla. —
“They were tired of playing (he joked). They just wanted to get the game over. … It just feels good to be in the finals.”
As they have done all season, Navarro’s back line of Lexi Riggs, Judith Bast, Morgan Nutley and goalkeeper Kenia Medina did an exceptional job in helping keep Butler off the scoreboard.
Medina came up with several big saves of her own, Bast knocked another ball out of the goal area and Riggs and Nutley proved to be the perfect foils for anything Butler threw at them.
“It’s hard to beat a defense that’s that close together,” Medina said. “They have my back. I have their back, and we just played hard all night.”
Garcia, who has fractures in both her left and right heel, had ice packs on both of her feet after the game.
“It’s been a hard season, playing with this,” she said. “All season, I’ve been wrestling this injury.”
But for a few moments, at least, Friday night … as she watched her shot hit the back of the net, Garcia was feeling no pain.
“I think I blacked out for a second, honestly,” Garcia said. “I just kind of jumped up and I grabbed my face. I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was amazing. Everyone running toward me was amazing … I couldn’t breathe in there.”
As Navarro head coach Debbie Bonner said, the Bulldogs will certainly have their hands full with Iowa Western in the championship game.
But no matter how that game goes, Friday night was the kind of win Garcia and her teammates can remember for the rest of their lives.
“My feet started moving before I could think,” Medina said of watching the game-winning goal. “Everyone was cheering and it was like … we finally did this.”