Fri, Jan. 24

One win gets them in

Staff photo by Eric Lusk

SCOTT PLAPP (right) and the MIngus Union boys soccer team will try to earn a state playoff berth this evening in Flagstaff.

Win your next game, and you live to play another day. Lose, and it’s time to turn in the equipment.

It’s survive and advance time for both of Mingus Union High School’s soccer teams as the Grand Canyon Region tournament moves into the semifinals today (Wednesday) in Flagstaff.

If the Marauder boys and girls win their respective games, they’ll lock up a spot in both the GCR championship on Thursday and next week’s state playoffs. If either loses, their season is over.

The Grand Canyon Region sends two teams to state from both the boys and girls divisions. Because there was no clear regular season champion on either side, the quest for those precious berths is still wide open.

The Mingus boys will take a number one seed into today’s game against either number five Page or number four Coconino. Their contest starts at 6 p.m. at Coconino High School. The winner will play either number two Flagstaff or number three Sinagua for the GCR title on Thursday at 4 p.m.

The Mingus girls, a number three seed, will face number two Flagstaff in their semifinal duel, which starts at 2 p.m. at Coconino High. The winner faces either top-seeded Sinagua, fifth-seeded Page or fourth-seeded Coconino in the girls title game Thursday at 6 p.m.

Had regular season rules been followed correctly, there would have been a clear-cut region champion on both the boys and girls sides (thus one boys team and one girls team receiving an automatic berth to state).

But officials working the Sinagua-Coconino and Flagstaff-Mingus boys games allowed those contests to end in ties, rather than advancing them to shootouts. The same policy was then followed with the Sinagua-Flagstaff girls game, and a stalemate ensued at the top of both sets of standings.

The state playoffs start on Tuesday, with the GCR’s tournament champions hosting games and the runners-up traveling.

The Mingus boys last went to state in 2001, where they lost to Douglas 2-0 in the opening round. The Marauder girls program has never been to state, falling one game short of qualifying on several occasions.

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