Finally playing a school that is in their division, the Mingus Union girls' soccer team had five different girls dropped 11 on Glendale Prep Academy, en route to an 11-0 blowout.
"We've been having a rough season and we just got together and knew that we had to play hard," said Kassidy Kitchen. "We needed this win if we wanted to make it far this season."
Daniela Santana got things started for the Marauders when she found the back of the net in the opening 10 minutes twice. From there, and before, it was al Mingus. The girls were able to pressure the Griffins' defense and control the tempo, position and flow of the game.
"The first one (goal) was a little hard," Santana said. "The ball was a little to far from me, so I had to reach and kind of go for it. I looked up and saw the goalie, so I made the choice to go right and I scored. And the second one, I saw that she wasn't near the goal, so I kicked and volleyed it and luckily it went in."
By the time the break rolled around, the Marauders had a commanding 5-0 lead. In addition to Santana's two, Haley Backus, Kassidy Kitchen and Auli Hanks all added a goal to their stats.
"It's an unfortunate scenario that Division-III has such a vast array of sizes of schools and this is obviously a small school that didn't have the number of players that we have," said head coach Buddy Rhodes. "We've been playing really top-notch, high-quality Division-II schools and then we step to this and that's the kind of result that's going to happen ... Nobody wants to do that, but we have a tough game Thursday, against a good School, so we still have to be able to play soccer and keep in game shape."
The Griffins gave the home team a little help to open the second half. Their goalie went to stop the ball when it was close to her, but instead of stopping it she tipped it in and added one more to Mingus' lead, Backus was credited with the goal.
With a steady stream of bench and role players logging significant minutes against Glendale Prep, the Griffins were able to pressure the Marauders on defense better. The visitors spent time trying to sink the ball into Mingus' goal to no avail.
Instead, it was the Marauders that were able to score again. Martina Bueno kicked things off. She notched a goal at the 25:13 mark and again with 17:30 left in the game. Backus followed Bueno with one more and Kitchen finished things off with a goal with 10 minutes remaining and another two minutes later.
"We attempt to try to back off on shots, however, we've been trying to get some deep shots, 35-yard shots and 30-yard shots, we've been working really hard on that, so we back passed on several of those this evening and they worked out pretty good for us," Rhodes said."
Both Backus and Kitchen notched hat tricks, and this was Kitchen's first time earning the feat in high school.
"It was great. Kassidy started for us her first game last game, it was the first one she started," Rhodes said about Kitchen's second career varsity start.
While the season has been littered with some of the top D-I and II teams, the Marauders had not been able to get their first win until now. The shutout over Glendale Prep moves the girls to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in Division-III, Section-1.
The Marauders traveled to Northwest Christian yesterday for another conference match up and do not return to action until after winter break. They kick things off with a Jan. 7 match at Estrella Foothills and a return home to face Scottsdale Prep on Jan 9 at 5 p.m.
"I feel like we have momentum on our side now and we'll be doing a lot better," Kitchen said.