COTTONWOOD - Cristian Escobar, Miguel Gonzalez, and Omar Carrillo scored goals in the first half and the Mingus boys soccer team beat Bradshaw Mountain, 3-2, Tuesday night on Bright Field.
Mingus lost to the Bears last week in Prescott Valley, 3-0, so the win Tuesday at home was big for the Marauders' confidence.
"We worked on possession," said Mingus head coach Cade Densmore. "Last week we never go into the flow of the game -- we strung a few passes together, but for the most part we just chased the whole game. Tonight we were able to control the tempo by holding on to the ball for longer possessions."
The team graduated many good players after last season, but they've got promising talent this year that should be able to make the playoffs again.
"We've changed our style of play to accommodate our players this season," said Densmore. "Last year we had a lot of height, but not as much ball control. This year we're exactly the opposite; we're small and fast with great ball control. Last year we tried to work the ball to the corners and cross for a header, and this year we're trying to beat defenses with quick passes and speed."
Junior captain Cristian Escobar looks poised to have another great season, this time in the midfield. Last year he played striker and scored goals like clockwork, but his physicality, dribbling skill, strong leg, and overall feel for the game make him most valuable to the team at center mid. He scored from about 40 yards out Tuesday; he caught the Bradshaw keeper out of position.
Another player who showed his kicking power Tuesday: Jahir Jacobo. He nearly scored on a free kick from midfield -- the Bradshaw keeper punched it over the crossbar, otherwise the shot was headed for the top left corner. Jacobo also sent a free kick from beyond midfield a little too strong past the end line. He kicked for Mingus football this year and his leg strength has improved tremendously. He's a threat most teams don't have.
Overall, the team still needs to improve, but they showed promise Tuesday and got a result they needed against a strong opponent. They'll play next away at Joy Christian Tuesday, Dec. 11, and then away against Sedona the following Thursday.
Freshman Brenna McCallum scored two goals and Junior Haley Backus scored one in Prescott Valley Tuesday night as the Mingus girls soccer team defeated Bradshaw Mountain for the second time this season, 3-0. All three goals came on corner kicks.
The team lost to Arcadia, 2-0, last Friday. Both goals came in the first half -- it took the Marauders a little time to settle in, and they played much better in the second half. Mingus head coach Buddy Rhodes said his team matched Arcadia shot for shot in the second period, but Mingus missed a direct free kick and a penalty kick. The Marauders had opportunities, they just couldn't turn them into scores.
"You can't miss opportunities like that and expect to win against a good team," said Rhodes.
Mingus plays next at home against Sedona next Thursday, Dec. 13.