The Grand Canyon U19 boys soccer team took advantage of offensive opportunities while playing exceptional defense in a 5-0 victory Saturday in Flagstaff.
Chas Iacampo, left, works the ball inside in a game from a few weeks ago.
Calling themselves the Maroons, the Grand Canyon team also took advantage of its numbers. The local team has 20 players on the roster, 17 of those available for action Saturday. But its Flagstaff opponent only had eight players and the rules had to be altered so a game could be staged.
“We wore them down; it’s hard when they have only eight kids,” Grand Canyon coach Ken Hunter said. “I mean, I’m out there subbing the whole team.”
Defense was a key in the week two victory. Hunter used two lines for his three-man defense. Matthew Beckerleg, Alfred Alarcon and Chris Streit made up one unit, with other consisting of Kevin Beckerleg, Tomas Alarcon and Josh Fuller.
On top of the top-notch defensive performance by those units, the Maroons also saw a stellar game from goalkeeper Jesse Hunter.
“He made a key stop in the second half when one of their players got behind our defense,” Coach Hunter said. “He also made a couple of other good plays to come out and take the ball away from people. But it just wasn’t him. This was a team effort; the whole defense played outstanding.”
Grand Canyon held a 2-0 advantage at halftime on goals by Oscar Badillo and Duarte Costa. Badillo found the net in the game’s 15th minute, receiving the ball from Omar Badillo, beating a couple of defenders and banking the ball into the goal off the inside post.
In the 32nd minute, Costa scored unassisted after intercepting a clearing pass.
Miles Hunter, Roberto Guerrero and Omar Badillo scored goals in the second half. Hunter scored on a header in the 63rd minute off a pass from Oscar Badillo. Guerrero picked up a pass from Omar Badillo, beat two defenders and kicked the ball past Flagstaff’s goalkeeper in the 68th minute.
Grand Canyon finished things with another goal in the 72nd minute when Omar Badillo scored on a header. Ryne Boone was credited with the assist.
Grand Canyon goes to 2-0 and will see action on Saturday again in Flagstaff. That contest will begin at 10 a.m., at Peak View Field.