Marauders are two wins away
4A II State girls Soccer Tournament
The Mingus Union girls soccer team bested Palo Verde, 6-1 on Saturday in the second round of the 4A II State Tournament at the Benedict Sports Complex in Tempe.
Despite the lop-sided win, it was Palo Verde that busted out ahead first with a goal about halfway through the first half. The Marauders weren't able to get a goal in and went into halftime trailing.
"We made a few adjustments and the girls got pumped up, know that they may not be able to play another game after this," said coach Buddy Rhodes.
The Marauders, in top form, came out and began to fire shot after shot into the goal. In fact, they scored five goals in the first 18-minutes in the second half to not only take the lead prove that they were the team that was advancing to the semifinals.
With just 2:30 into the second half, the Marauders tied the game up. Natalie Rivera received a long cross from Cassie Bailey, who made a beautiful shot just inches under the cross bar.
About three minutes later, Kayla Dixon made a hard shot toward the goal, the Palo Verde goalie bobbled it and Bailey was there to finish it off. That goal gave Mingus the lead and they never looked back.
At 13:23 into the second half, a corner kick by Rylie Backus to Makenzie Mabery resulted in goal No. 3. Less than a minute later, Rivera kicked a hard shot toward the goalie, who again bobbled it and Drea Duke was there to put it in.
With 17:24 ticked off the clock, Torey Braly and Mabery made a good team with a give-and-go and slammed one in for goal No. 5. Finally, in stoppage time, the Marauders got their sixth and final goal of the game when Mabery placed one in the back of the net with the assist by Bailey.
"We had excellent defense," said coach Rhodes.
Defensively, Des Braly had an outstanding game. She had two exceptional plays that could have given Palo Verde the momentum if she hadn't stepped up. One example was when Fanning had to make a save, the ball went out to Palo Verde, which made a shot on goal without the goalie. Braly headered the ball out of goal. The other time was when Braly chest trapped the ball and got it out of harms way.
A big event during the game was when goalie Tessa Fanning came out of the game due to an injury with 16 minutes left to play. Sophomore goalie, Courtney Hageman stepped into the high-pressure position and did her team proud. She had four saves and did an excellent job of distributing the ball out to her teammates.
The Marauders hit the field again today in the semifinal round of the state tournament. No. 1 Mingus will face No. 4 Douglas at 5 p.m. at Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix. If Mingus wins, then they will face either No. 3 Notre Dame or No. 7 Flagstaff in the championship game on Friday at the Arizona State University Soccer Stadium at 5 p.m.