Mingus girls soccer
It was a very physical game for the Mingus girls soccer team Tuesday. In the end, 4A II State Runners-up last year, Coconino took the win, 2-1, on the strength of penalty kicks.
After 100 minutes of soccer, the scoreboard read 1-1.
Coconino fired the first shot into the goal. In about the 7th minute in the first half, the visiting Panthers scored on a corner kick to take the lead 1-0. 15 Minutes later, the Marauders tied the game up.
Freshman Rylie Backus passed the ball to Natalie Rivera. Rivera took the ball and knocked it in past Coconino's All State goalie as the fans watching on erupted.
Both sides continued the intensity throughout the second half. Both teams often warned by the officials after they knocked into an opposing player while chasing after the ball. Warnings were especially frequent for a very physical and intense Mingus freshman, Cassie Bailey.
The final seconds ticked away in the second half and the teams went into overtime with two 10-minute halves.
Coach Joe Rongo's strategy for the overtime was to get the team to be faster instead of more controlled. It gave up the middle a bit more and the Marauders' weren't able to score. On the other hand, neither did the Panthers and the game was to be decided through penalty kicks.
Despite Mingus' efforts, the only PK to go in was off the foot of Karen Van Gorp. On the other end, Coconino was able to sink two of their attempts to take away the win.
Rebekah Westover had an outstanding game, defending Coconino's brightest star.
We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game," said coach Joe Rongo. "Rebekah shut her down and that's what kept us in the game."
Lisa Rauch also showed a lot of skill out on the field. Although she was hindered with a twisted ankle and a thigh muscle strain, Rauch gave it 100 percent. Since her addition to a defense full of freshman, Rauch has been able to orchestrate the Marauder defense. That has enabled the defense to start working well together.
Freshman Natalie Rivera leads the Marauders with 10 goals on the season, followed by Andrea Duke with eight and Van Gorp with seven.
The Marauders host Page at home on Saturday at 11 a.m. Mingus played Page earlier in the year and won the game, 3-0. A win over Page will put the Marauders against the Coconino Panthers in the first round of the region tournament.
Injury report: Wednesday is the first real game that Sarah Westover has been able to play, in a limited fashion. Sister Tarah gets her cast off Jan 15 in time for the regional tournament.
"Hopefully we're peaking for tournament time," said coach Rongo.