Grand Canyon youth soccer teams won three, tied one and lost just one in action reported from Saturday’s games. All teams except the U19 squad played in Flagstaff.
Cesar Valencia, right, scored three goals for the Condors in U10 action.
In the U19 game at Grand Canyon, the Maroons were in top form to defeat a visiting Flagstaff squad, 8-0. At Flagstaff, the U12 Maroon Monkeys outlasted their opponent to take a 1-0 win. The U10 Condors came up big in the second half to take a 4-2 victory. The U8 Maroon Magic ended up in a 4-4 tie.
The lone Grand Canyon loss came in the U14 game, a 5-1 setback. There was no report from the U6 team.
Here’s a rundown of Saturday’s results from the various league divisions (although playing in boys divisions, most Grand Canyon teams are coed):
In the parking lot prior to Saturday’s home game against Flagstaff “Team No. 5,” coach Ken Hunter overheard some comments being thrown around. “The Flagstaff teams are saying we can score a lot of goals, but can’t play any defense.”
Hunter passed along those beliefs to his players in a pre-game meeting. The Maroons responded with an 8-0 shutout in what turned out to be a stellar defensive effort.
“They’re starting to buy into this system of defense,” Hunter said. “When it’s played right, it works well.”
Defensive specialist Chas Iacampo and goalkeeper Jacob Wahler were two of the biggest stars on the field. Wahler came up big when needed to thwart any Flagstaff scoring threats.
“Jacob Wahler made some good saves, nothing overly spectacular ... but when he needed to,” Hunter said. “Chas Iacampo was awesome on defense. He had a really good game.”
There were plenty of offensive fireworks to go along with the tough defense. Even though the Flagstaff defense was keying on him, Duarte Costa still had the hat trick with three goals. Oscar Badillo was all over the place with two goals and four assists.
“Oscar was just on fire, not only on all the goals but with the things he was doing with his feet,” Hunter said.
In the ninth minute, Badillo scored the game’s first goal using Costa as a decoy. As the Maroons dribbled downfield on a fast break, Badillo pointed to Costa as if trying to set up a play. When the Flagstaff defense responded, Badillo simply continued to the net and sent one home. Eddie Tobin was credited with an assist.
Costa scored the team’s next two goals in the 15th and 25th minutes, both on assists by Badillo. Jose Acevedo found the net in the 30th minute, also on a Badillo assist.
Leading 4-0 at halftime, Grand Canyon did not slow down in the second half. In what Hunter called probably the best goal of the game, Omar Badillo set up Alfred Alarcon on a near-perfect corner kick.
“It was a perfect cross to the far post and Alfred jumped and headed the ball into the net,” Hunter said, adding that it was Alarcon’s first-ever goal.
Omar Badillo scored a goal of his own in the 75th minute on an assist by Matthew Beckerleg. Costa scored his third goal in the 79th minute on an Oscar Badillo assist. And then Oscar Badillo rounded out the scoring with a goal on an assist by Kevin Beckerleg.
The Maroons, which are averaging 6.8 goals per game, go to 4-0-1 on the season and remain in first place in the U19 league. The team will head to Flagstaff Saturday for a 12:30 p.m., game on Mount Elden Middle School’s field.
The Grand Canyon Maroon Marauders went up against a tough foe in Flagstaff Saturday, dropping a 5-1 decision.
The Marauders started off slow with some defensive struggles. By the end of the first half, the Flagstaff team held a 4-0 lead.
In the second half, coach David Beckerleg said his team began to play much better on defense.
“The play of Megan Timeche and Daniel Trenchard was outstanding,” Beckerleg said. “Offensively, we played terrific also with several great runs at the goal.”
Grand Canyon’s lone goal came with a well-placed pass from right winger Sydney Gould to a streaking Maria Caballero, who shot the ball past a diving goalkeeper.
“The Flag team had a lot of good players on it and they came ready to play,” Beckerleg said. “I think our kids learned a lot about playing together as a team and that will make us a better team moving forward.”
The Maroon Marauders (0-2) will play at home Saturday in an 11 a.m., game.
The Grand Canyon Maroon Monkeys won a thriller over their Flagstaff opponent 1-0 on a goal late in the fourth quarter.
In a defensive struggle, the Monkeys came up big near the end on a goal by Marissa Timeche. The team played stellar defense throughout in the shutout win.
The game was played on a full-size field with no replacements available. All 11 players went the distance on a hot day in Flagstaff. Keslee Foster was exceptional at goalie with three memorable blocks in the third quarter alone. Shannon Harris and Connor Phillips also came up big on defense.
The Maroon Monkeys (2-0) will play at home on Saturday with game time scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Grand Canyon Condors scored two goals while holding the opponent scoreless in the second half for a 4-2 victory. Cesar Valencia had the opposing defense baffled all day with three goals for the hat trick.
Grand Canyon took a 1-0 lead on a breakaway goal by Rosie Caballero, who was set up with a pass from Valencia. But Flagstaff responded with back-to-back goals to take a 2-1 advantage.
Late in the half, Grand Canyon’s William Donley found daylight and sent a screamer past the goalie to knot the score at 2-2. Flagstaff had a chance to regain the lead in the closing seconds on a penalty kick, but goalie Winston Gallagher stopped the shot.
In the third quarter, Valencia scored his second goal on a tricky shot from the corner. And in the fourth, the Condors put the game away on another goal by Valencia, this one on an assist from Christian Baraga.
The Condors (2-0) will play at home Saturday in a 1:30 p.m., game.
The Grand Canyon Maroon Magic remained unbeaten with a 4-4 tie against the Flagstaff Spiders.
In a game of streaks, the Spiders took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, an advantage the opponent held at halftime.
Grand Canyon came up big in the third quarter with two goals each by Ethan Berry and Jerrith Foster. But the Spiders answered in the fourth with two goals to force the tie.
The Maroon Magic (1-0-1) will play at 4 p.m., Saturday on the home field.
(Kathleen Bankston contributed to this soccer roundup by gathering results and reporting information).