PRESCOTT — A 4A state semifinalist as a No. 6 seed in 2018, Prescott’s girls soccer team sure seems to have the right stuff to replicate, or perhaps exceed, their success from last year in the 2019 tournament, which kicks off Saturday, Feb. 9.
At 4 p.m. at Bill Shepard Field, the Badgers, who again earned a sixth seed, will play host to 11th-seeded Poston Butte in the first round of the 16-team, single-elimination bracket.
“The girls are excited to be hosting a first-round game,” Prescott coach Paul Campuzano said.
The winner of Saturday’s match advances to the state quarterfinals against the victor of the No. 14 Douglas-No. 3 Salpointe Catholic first-round match, also at 4 p.m. Saturday, in Tucson.
Salpointe Catholic, the defending 4A state champion, eliminated Prescott from the state tournament, 5-0, in the state semifinals last Feb. 6 at Williams Field High School in Gilbert.
Prescott (10-2-0 record in power-point matches), which has won three straight and finished the regular season by winning five of its last seven matches, routed Poston Butte, 8-0, Dec. 6 in San Tan Valley in the Badgers’ third game of the campaign.
The Badgers are led by Grand Canyon region player of the year Sawyer Magnett, who’s a midfielder, and first team all-region goalie Rebekah Norris. Second team all-region forwards Emma Alvarez and Lily Jensen, as well as midfielders Sydney Seeley and Ellie Magnett, also stand out.
“We are playing real well right now and have solved a few problems that held us back in two of our losses this year [5-1 at unbeaten and top-seeded Thunderbird Dec. 17, and 2-1 vs. third-seeded Flagstaff Jan. 17 at home],” Campuzano said. “Everybody was loose at practice [Friday] and ready to go.”
Poston Butte didn’t play well on Dec. 6, but the Broncos rallied after that loss, winning 10 of their last 12 power-point matches, since Dec. 12. The Broncos are riding a four-game winning streak, outscoring the opposition, 17-2, in that stretch.
On Feb. 7, Poston Butte bested Lee Williams, 6-1, in the state play-in round to advance. Prescott shut out Lee Williams, a fellow Grand Canyon region team, 7-0, in its season opener Nov. 29 at Shepard Field.
“They are a real tough team,” Campuzano said of the Broncos. “They defend well and have a few tricky players up top [in the attack]. They are a much better team than when we played them back in December.”
If Prescott wins Saturday, the Badgers would most likely visit Salpointe Catholic (11-1-0) in the state quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in Tucson.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.