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Thu, Feb. 20

No. 5 Mingus girls soccer falls to No. 4 Flagstaff

Mingus sophomore Alexis Ayersman shoots during the Marauders' 3-1 loss at home to Flagstaff on Tuesday. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus sophomore Alexis Ayersman shoots during the Marauders' 3-1 loss at home to Flagstaff on Tuesday. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus Union girls soccer’s eight game winning streak ended on Tuesday in a top five match up.

The No. 5 Marauders (8-1, 3-2 Grand Canyon) lost 3-1 to No. 4 Flagstaff at home.

Mingus Union opened the season with a 6-0 loss to No. 1 Prescott but then won eight straight to earn a top five spot.

“I think it was good to match up four against five, I think that we both played pretty even,” Mingus head coach Calvin Behlow said. “I think we had a couple mental mistakes cost us the game. I think we could have won that game, I think it puts us in position to say ‘hey maybe we are this good, I think we are maybe a top five team,’ when you lose to the No. 4 team and in my opinion it should have been at least 3-2, maybe even we beat them. That’s why you play the games but I don’t think at any time we were really out of that game. It was a mental break down that cost us and we just should’ve won it.”

Flagstaff, 9-2 in regular season games, opened up the scoring with a goal in the sixth minute. In the 25th minute the Marauders missed a penalty kick.

During the win streak the Marauders outscored their opponents 24-3.

“We came into the season with no expectations, we played the No. 1 team in the state the first game and lost, so we’re just like ‘let’s have fun’ and we had fun for eight straight games,” Calvin Behlow said. “We weren’t always the better team but we were winning and that goes a long way for these girls.”

The Eagles went up 2-0 with a goal in the 40th minute but the Marauders responded with a goal from senior midfielder Jaiden Behlow, assisted by junior midfielder/forward Sadie Backus a few seconds later just before the first half ended.

“I’ve got a bunch of girls that step up in different times and just play really hard,” Calvin Behlow said. “You could see it, we go down 2-0 with 55 seconds left, 20 seconds later Jaiden scores. We just have girls that step up and they want to win, that’s something about this team that I really appreciate, they find a way to win and I think tonight could’ve been that night, tonight we go down 1-0, we have a chance to tie it with the PK and miss it, instead of going down we battle them for another 30 minutes before they get a second and instead of us letting down, we score in 20 seconds.”

In the 45th minute Flagstaff scored their third and held on to get the road win.

“I was pushing too many people forward, which is a coaching move, lose 2-1, lose 3-1, it’s still a loss, so I pushed a bunch of people forward trying to get the equalizer early in the second half and it didn’t happen and they got a third goal,” Calvin Behlow said. “We just kinda put it into coast mode after that. We tried to protect some girls, we got two games left, I want to make sure we’re healthy and ready to go.”

UP NEXT

The Marauders travel to No. 11 Lee Williams on Thursday for their region finale. Then they close out the regular season with No. 21 Scottsdale Saguaro at home.

The postseason starts on Feb. 13 with the state play-in, which pretty much features the teams ranked No. 9 to 24. Then the first round of the state tournament starts on Feb. 15 with the better seed hosting.

“Lee Williams is big because it’s Grand Canyon Region, you want to finish in the top three, if we beat them we’ll finish in the top three,” Calvin Behlow said. “So you want to beat Lee Williams, puts us in a good chance to be in a top eight seed so we have a Feb. 13 bye and then a Feb. 15 game at home if we can stay there in the top eight. So Lee Williams is big and then Saguaro’s senior night, you want to go out on a win. I think we have to win two out of two.”

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