Fri, Feb. 28

Late goal pushes Mingus past Coconino

Jordan Webb converted a penalty kick with less than a minute remaining, and Mingus Union edged Coconino 3-2 in boys soccer action Saturday afternoon.

The Marauders improved to 2-1 in the Grand Canyon Region with the win and avenged an overtime loss to the Panthers in the teams’ season opener back in November.

Webb drew the PK attempt after getting tackled from behind in the penalty box on a breakaway.

“This is normally a red-card foul, player ejection and a penalty kick, but the (Coco) player was allowed to remain,” said Marauder coach Duane Badger. “Mingus was, however, awarded a penalty kick, which Webb nailed securely into the left-hand corner of the net.”

The Marauders defended their goal over the final few seconds and celebrated a crucial GCR triumph.

Mingus could lock up at least a tie for second place in the region with a win Thursday at Sinagua (2-1) in its regular season finale. Winning the GCR championship is still not out of the realm of possibility. Flagstaff (2-0) still has two games remaining – against Page on Thursday and against Coconino on Saturday.

Seeding is important for next week’s region tournament, which determines the two teams who move on to the state playoffs.

Mingus trailed Coco 1-0 at halftime of Saturday’s contest. Just like the weather, which warmed considerably from a chilly 15 degrees during pre-game, the Marauders heated up as the day wore on.

Halftime adjustments led to a Mingus goal in the first three minutes after intermission. Dane Mickelsen netted a shot on a cross from Larry Badger to even the score 1-1.

Nine minutes later, the Marauders took their first lead as Zach Duebler headed in a corner kick served up by Mickelsen. Coconino evened the score at 2-2 later in the half by “kicking a ball out of the hands of (Marauder) keeper Robbie Maine and putting the ball into the net,” coach Badger said.

Mingus got off a few shots before Webb initiated the final breakaway, which lead to his penalty kick and game-winner.

The Marauders played a more solid game overall than in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Flagstaff, Badger said. Flag scored three goals in the second half to pull away after the teams had battled to a scoreless tie over the first 40 minutes.

“Flagstaff has a very good aerial attack and plays the ball over the top a lot,” Badger said. “They were beating us to the ball any time the ball was in the air. I admonished the team to keep the ball on the ground and play a short passing game.

“However, in the second half, Flagstaff came out very fired up, caught our defense flat footed, and scored almost immediately.”

Larry Badger eventually netted the Marauders’ only goal on a free kick from about 35 yards away.

“After Badger scored, the Marauders finally came to life and pressed the game very hard, but it was just too late,” coach Badger said. “Flagstaff dropped back several defenders and Mingus was unable to penetrate for a score.

“I was very disappointed with the play of our team and told them so in the locker room after the game. They all realized that they had handed Flagstaff a win. The last time we faced Flagstaff, we were without one starting forward, Jordan Webb, and keeper Robbie Maine, but we played much better and were victorious with a score of 1-0.”

Thursday's game at Sinagua is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

MINGUS GIRLS: The Lady Marauders dropped to 0-3 in GCR play with a 4-0 loss to Coconino on Saturday. Audrey Kirkland scored twice for the Panthers, who improved to 3-0, 12-2-1 overall.

The Mingus girls could very easily be like the Mingus boys and hold a 2-1 record in the Grand Canyon standings. Both of their losses (to Page and Flagstaff last week) came in shootouts after regulation and double overtime periods couldn’t break the stalemates.

The Marauders thought they had Flagstaff beat when Jill Ferreira netted a free kick with 4:35 to play in the second extra period on Thursday. But the Eagles sneaked in a goal with just over a minute remaining to tie the score 2-2.

Flagstaff won the shootout 4-1.

Mingus took a 1-0 lead in the game less than eight minutes in on a goal by Brianna Grondin. It took the Eagles just 32 seconds to net the equalizer, however.

The Marauders will close their regular season on Thursday at Sinagua (1-2).

REGION TOURNAMENT: Mingus will host the entire GCR tourney – boys and girls – beginning next Wednesday, Jan. 30. The fourth and fifth seeds will battle on Wednesday, the semifinals will be held Thursday and the championship will follow on Friday.

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