takes wins over
By Brad Fuqua
Grand Canyon News Editor
GCNP — The Grand Canyon Middle School soccer team ended the season undefeated by downing Seligman and Williams Saturday.
The Phantoms finished 6-0 with victories over Seligman, 5-0, and Williams, 2-1, in the games played at Seligman.
Grand Canyon relied on a second-half surge in the victory over Seligman. The Phantoms led just 1-0 at halftime, even though coach Ken Hunter said Grand Canyon controlled the entire game.
"In the first half, we probably could've scored a lot more goals," Hunter said. "We had the opportunities, we just didn't score much in the first half."
Ryne Boone, who had an incredible day for the A and B teams, scored the first-half goal. Tiffany Monroe had attempted a goal, but it was blocked by the Seligman defender. Boone picked up the rebound and drove it home.
In the second half, the Phantoms added four more goals. Boone scored again on a pass from David Robinson for a 2-0 advantage. Then the third goal came "on a pretty play," Hunter said.
Kevin Beckerleg took the ball deep into the Seligman zone and from the corner, passed the ball to Boone, who in turn crossed the ball over to the other side of the field where Miles Hunter waited. Hunter put the goal in the net and the lead was 3-0.
Robinson scored the team's fourth goal on a pass from Kristin Gabaldon. Eddie Tobin then found the net on a play set up by Ryan Boyd.
Cody Bettencourt played goalie the entire game, getting the shutout.
Grand Canyon was challenged in its game with Williams, escaping with a 2-1 victory. The Phantoms led 1-0 at halftime when Miles Hunter scored off a crossing pass from Christopher Streit.
About halfway through the second half, Williams tied the score to surprise the Grand Canyon team.
"It was like the kids said, 'hey, wait a minute, we're not going to lose,'" Coach Hunter said.
Streit scored the game-winning goal on a pass from Tobin with less than two minutes left in the game. The coach described the goal as deceptive for the Williams goalie. Instead of a hard shot into the net, Streit trickled the ball into the corner.
"Williams played a good game," Hunter said. "Their goalie made some excellent saves. It could've been a 5-1 game. Chesney Grantham (Williams player) was awesome. She was going right after it."
Bettencourt was goalie for a portion of the game when Grand Canyon had the 1-0 lead. In his A-game action, he did not allow a goal.
In B-game action, Grand Canyon downed Williams, 4-0. Matthew Beckerleg opened scoring with a goal off a pass from Boone. Robinson then scored after intercepting the Williams kickoff, going downfield and shooting the ball into the net.
Melissa Skeet scored the team's third goal. Boone made a pass to Tobin, who then sent the ball over to Skeet for the goal.
Boone then had an unassisted goal after intercepting a Williams defensive clearing pass.
Coach Hunter said Gabaldon made an excellent play during the game. Gabaldon had fallen down, got back up, ran down the Williams player with the ball, took it away and started a counteroffensive after passing it off to the wing.
Bettencourt played goalie, again getting a shutout.
In the other B game Saturday, the middle-school Phantoms took a 3-0 win over Seligman. Grand Canyon led 2-0 at halftime.
Boone scored the first goal on a setup pass from Danielle Bone. The Phantoms then went up 2-0 on a goal by Trenae Lonetti, who got a pass from Boone. In the second half, Lonetti scored again, this time on a pass from Skeet.
Robinson was goalie in the game, shutting out the Seligman attack.
The B team ends the season with a 4-2 record.
"One of the things we were trying to do was allow kids to score," Hunter said. "We had 22 kids on the roster when we started the season and 17 of them found the back of the net."
An unfortunate circumstance from Saturday's action involved a couple of injuries. Williams goalie Katie Cothren was hit in the head by a close-range shot. Although she never lost consciousness, Hunter said she did lose her vision. She was taken to the Williams Clinic and then on to Flagstaff Medical Center where she reportedly had a CAT scan. Cothren was back in school this week. Her father reported that she was doing well.
A Grand Canyon player, Gabaldon, also went to the Flagstaff hospital. After showering, Gabaldon began to experience severe pains in her lower abdomen and she was taken to the hospital.