Mingus boys soccer returns with win over No. 9 Saguaro

Mingus sophomore midfielder Domanic Renik dribbles through the Saguaro defense to score the game winning goal in the Marauders’ 3-2 victory over the Sabercats on Tuesday night at home. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus sophomore midfielder Domanic Renik dribbles through the Saguaro defense to score the game winning goal in the Marauders’ 3-2 victory over the Sabercats on Tuesday night at home. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union boys soccer returned from their long layoff with a top 10 upset of side that didn’t have any rust to shake off.

The Marauders (3-2) beat then No. 9 Scottsdale Saguaro 3-2 on Tuesday night at home.

“It was really big, they’re ninth in the state and we’re 19th,” Mingus junior midfielder/forward Angel De La Cruz said. “We just wanted it more than them. We came out hard and we got the win.”

After the win, Mingus Union moved up to No. 15, a spot that would allow them to host a postseason game.

Mingus Union took the lead in the fifth minute when senior defender/forward Jordan Finger scored off an assist from De La Cruz.

“Oh it helped a lot, it gave us not only motivation but a solid kind of stand over the other team,” Finger said about getting the first goal. “We had that to go for us, we had that to defend and just put that goal to get more goals after that. Like after a team gets scored on generally they’ll go down a little bit, I mean this team held their held very high and they very well with keeping their composure and playing well all throughout the game but it just gave Mingus that extra bit of motivation a long with it.”

The Marauders’ last game was Dec. 17. They got a week off to focus on finals and then the week of Christmas off before returning to practice, though they had to battle the snow.

“We only had a few practices and it was a little bit rough because of the snow you know but we try to get everything in,” Finger said. “We knew that we were having a big game coming up, we needed to do a lot more after everyone just coming back

from doing nothing.”

During the winter break, Saguaro played in the Arizona Soccer Showcase at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix. It was their second tournament of the season.

“I think it’s all about how you view things,” Mingus junior forward/midfielder Eduardo Lazaro said, “like they’re a good team, they go out to tournaments, you know Mingus doesn’t really do that, but I think them being that kind of team it definitely put us where we have the mentality that we have to win this and that’s exactly what we did and considering how high ranked they are, we played a very top 10 game.”

In the 48th minute senior midfielder/forward Jesus Rodriguez scored after a free kick.

The foul that led to that free kick could have resulting in a red card for the Sabercats, but they just got a yellow and didn’t have to play a man down while losing 2-0.

“That’s like any debate, anybody could say red or yellow,” Mingus head coach Luis Hernandez said. “Personally, it was last man so I would say it’s a red card, any time you’re the last man it’s a red. It’s the referee’s view, I’m not going to go against it or anything.”

Saguaro then scored in the 52nd minute but MUHS responded with a goal from sophomore midfielder Domanic Renik, assisted by junior Dakota Falcha in the 55th minute.

The Sabercats would score again in the 73rd minute by Mingus Union held on to get the win.

“We defended really good,” Hernandez said. “As I said, the weeks we had at practice we were saying how we were going to play against Saguaro, how we were going to defend against them, how we’re going to attack and I told them it’s going to get to this point, so the last minutes, when we hold them, that’s what we were practicing. It didn’t look the best but we held them, that’s what mattered the most.”

The Marauders held on without De La Cruz for much of the second half. He said since the Sabercats had the tournament over the break, they were more fit and many Marauders suffered from cramps.

Still, after the game, he said he was feeling good, because they got the win.

“It was hard, we went like 30 minutes without Angel on the field,” Hernandez said. “He was injured so I can’t put him in there, I can’t risk a season ending injury, so it was hard, we lost the midfield a little but I made some readjustments, composing some players back in the middle and recovered some of the ground.”

The Marauders’ next game is Friday when they host No. 27 Mohave.

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