Originally Published: January 10, 2019 9:05 p.m.
PRESCOTT — In a rematch of their 2018 girls soccer state quarterfinal playoff game, the Prescott Badgers and Estrella Foothills Wolves met Thursday night, this time with the Badgers hosting.
In their playoff game, the Badgers were able to squeak out a 1-0 victory and Thursday night, behind a goal from each Magnett sister, were able to come out victorious again, this time 2-0.
This match against the Wolves was the first game for the Badgers in 2019 and their first since they last played on Dec. 16, while the Wolves were just in action Tuesday. With the long layoff, it was a bit of a slow start for the Badgers, who seemed a little taken back by the aggressiveness and physicality that the Wolves played with and therefore really struggled to get much going in the first half with only one shot on goal.
“This week was our first week back and we got touches over the break but it’s tough because they’re a really aggressive team and we weren’t expecting it at first but we got into it,” Ellie Magnett said.
After heading into the half, the Badgers came out and looked more comfortable, starting off the second half with a penalty kick goal from Sawyer Magnett just 21 seconds in. Magnett’s goal seemed to settle the Badgers down and they started converting on more passes and seemed to dominate possession after that.
Following her sister’s penalty kick goal, Ellie Magnett stepped up off a rebound and found the back of the net herself to give the Badgers the 2-0 lead in the 55th minute, which ended up as the final score.
“They’re a tough team on defense,” head coach Paul Campuzano said. “At some points you look back there and they have all the players marked properly, (so) we’re trying different and new things, but we have so many fast, skilled players and eventually we’ll break someone down. It’s rare that we’re not going to get a goal, (so) we just had to hang in there and I knew we would be fine.”
With their win Tuesday, the Badgers are ranked No. 6 in the 4A conference and have had a couple of measuring stick matches of late, with another set up for Jan. 15 against No. 5 Mingus. The Badgers took down No. 13 Estrella Foothills tonight, but they did lose a match 5-1 to No. 1 seed Thunderbird last month. As we head down the stretch, coach Campuzano is confident in his team, but injuries are a definite concern.
“I don’t want to use excuses, but that Thunderbird game was our sixth game in five nights, so I’ll throw that one out; I would love to see them again in the state somewhere,” Campuzano said. “I think we’re fine now, but if we could just find a way to keep people healthy, (I mean) we just lost another knee at left back and she’s a freshman and she was the back up so we’re back to the drawing board for finding defenders. It is what it is and everyone is going through the same thing.”
“(To me) this was the game to decide where our season was going to go. I’m ready for next week when we see our rival come in here. I’m ready.”
The Badgers will have two region games next week, as they will travel to face Mingus on the road at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, and they will host the Flagstaff Eagles at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, in Prescott.
Chris Whitcomb is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @AZChris32. Email him at email@example.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.