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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : sports : local May 25, 2016

12/14/2013 1:52:00 PM
Boys soccer improves to 2-0 with 3-0 win over Wickenburg

Travis Guy
Sports Reporter

They are two games into the season and the Mingus Union boys' soccer team is streaking.

They have accrued a 2-0 record, outscoring opponents 5-1 and most recently demolished Wickenburg 3-0.

"It feels pretty good, its getting our momentum built so once we start winning games, the more we win, the more momentum we have, so, this will be good for the later games, the tougher games," said senior defender Omar Maria

Going into the game, the boys knew that the Wranglers were 0-2. The team was aware of their record, but stayed grounded and did not get cocky.

"We knew that their team wasn't that strong, but we weren't going in there super confident. We knew we had to go in there and win," Maria said. "We actually had a rough start to the game, but we finished really strong."

Playing on an unfamiliar field, the Marauders were all over the field as they tried to find a rhythm. It was not until a half time talk from head coach Calvin Behlow that the Marauders were able to make defensive adjustments, decreasing the amount of quality looks Wickenburg was getting.

"We were not used to the field at all. Our touches were all over at the (beginning) of the game, but during half time, Behlow talked to us," Maria said. "Our defense was collapsing, so they were getting opportunities. Second half, Behlow talked to us, our defense was set, they had no opportunity in the second half. Our offense, we had a lot more passes, a lot more through balls, down the line, just good passes."

Three different Marauders scored against the Wranglers. Seniors Jahir Jacobo started things for Mingus, followed by Christian Escobar and Ryan Talbot iced things with a shot that went off the cross bar and into the net.

"Towards the end of the game, Ryan had a bullet at goal that hit the top of the cross bar and bounced in for our third goal," Maria said. "We had a couple shots that were, we had a lot of shots, actually, that were off the cross bar and off the post, so they were on frame, just bad luck I guess."

That has been one of the main areas of improvement for the Marauders. They move the ball around and get good shots on goal, but the amount that is on target is very few.

"I wouldn't say [we aren't] efficient," Maria said. "We get up there and we have our good passes and everything, but we just ... I don't know, our shots need to be better."

That is one of the main areas the Marauders are working on as they prepare for 2-2 Glendale Preparatory Academy. In addition to bettering their shots, the Marauders are working on strengthening their headers into the goal.

"We had a lot of, well, they weren't necessarily bad, but a lot of our corner balls [that] went into the area, the air, we weren't getting our head on them, and when we would, it would be really weak," Maria said. "So, we're working on headers, and we're working on finishing because we had a lot of shots, but only three goals."

Following the Glendale Prep game, the Marauders make their home debut against Northwest Christian on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. before going on winter break. Right now, like Maria said, the Marauders are focused on building, and keeping, momentum. Needless to say, winning these next two games and entering break sitting at 4-0 would be a big boost to a team that was not sure how everything would come together entering the season.

"We just got to keep the momentum we're building, just got to keep it going into the season so we have something to build on," said senior Blake Lundy.

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