Middle school soccer splits season opener

The Middle School Phantoms played two games at Seligman on Saturday, dropping one to Northland Prep and tying with Ash Fork.

Northland Prep defeated the Phantoms 3-1. The Phantoms scored first in the third minute. Madison Berry made the goal with an assist from Jerrith Foster. Northland Prep tied the score in the eighth minute, putting the game at 1-1, where it stayed until after the half.

Northland Prep's two second half goals came in the 30th and 35th minutes.

"Northland Prep has a good team and they outplayed us for most of the first half," said Head Coach Ken Hunter. "The Phantoms improved and played much better in the second half, even though we were outscored in the half."

The second game was a 1-1 tie with Ash Fork, with no scoring until the second half.

Ash Fork scored first in the 30th minute and Phantom John Kissner tied the score in the 36th minute with an assist from Christian Baraga.

"We continued to get better as the day progressed and controlled play against Ash Fork," said Hunter. "The Ash Fork goalkeeper made several good saves and we hit the post three times."

Hunter noted standout defensive performances by Brandie Gomez, Jack Doryland and Shawn Harris.

"They were the foundation of the defense on Saturday," he said. "Each of these players spent every minute of both games playing some impressive defense."

He added that Luke Pergiel played well at outside midfield and Katreena Hasworth played with a lot of confidence and made some skillful moves in her first ever soccer game.

"I'm really proud of the way the team played," Hunter said. "Our motto for the season is 'Let's get better' and we did with each minute as the day went on. The work we have been doing on our individual skills was very evident on the field Saturday. We can now start to turn our attention toward tactics while we're continuing to work on improving our skills. It was an overall good day for our team. Everyone worked hard, played with a lot of energy and had fun. I'm excited about the future."

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