COTTONWOOD - The Mingus girls soccer team possessed the ball much more than Coconino Monday night on Bright Field, but at halftime the game was tied, 0-0. With persistence and great endurance, the Marauders took it to the Panthers in the second half, winning 2-0.
Mingus senior Dalis Sealey took a shot from the outside and the keeper blocked it, but couldn't corral the ball, and freshman Martina Bueno followed up the shot and tapped it for the first score in the 51st minute.
Sealey assisted another score on a corner in the 71st minute - she sent a beautiful ball to the far post and senior captain Nataly Escamilla put her head on it with perfect form. Two Panther's defenders close by never had a chance at it.
"We have a lot of young girls on the team, so we're still building, but we've really grown as a group, and we're starting to play as a team" said Sealey. "I feel like we have a close relationship outside of soccer, and that helps us communicate more on the field."
Sealey scored two goals in Mingus' 8-0 win over Page last weekend. She was one of six Marauders to score in the blowout (Haley Backus also scored two).
"I think we're coming together pretty well as a team, but we had a little bit of a slow start tonight." said Mingus head coach Buddy Rhodes after the Coconino game. "We've improved our scoring recently, but tonight we didn't have as much ball movement inside 30-yards that I want to see, but we're still playing well. We have a lot of girls with the ability to score and our set pieces are getting better."
The 2-0 win over Coconino didn't have to be that close, Mingus created far more opportunities. A few shots just missed and the Coconino keeper had a solid game.
Endurance and great passing won the game for Mingus down the stretch. They still looked fresh in the second half, and Coconino got tired. The Marauders have great athleticism and they make the game easier for themselves with solid passing.
"Jody Makuch is doing our strength and conditioning, and I think it showed in the last 20 minuets that we were much more fit than they were. The last 20 minutes were the best for us in this game," said Rhodes.
The Marauders' next home game is Thursday against Prescott, 5 p.m.