GIRLS SOCCER: Knights hold off Mingus, 2-1
The Lake Havasu girls soccer team will be advancing to the big bracket of the 4A state playoffs this weekend after a 2-1 victory over Mingus Union on Thursday at Lee Barnes Stadium.
As has been the case most of the season, the offense was provided by sophomore sensation Kendra Park, who popped in a score from the right corner in the fourth minute of action to give the Knights a lead from early in the match.
Park rang another shot off the crossbar in the 24th minute before adding her second of the game and 46th of the season a minute later. Streaking down the field Park pulled in a long through pass to her feet, boxed out a defender and ripped a shot from 20 yards out that firmly found the back of the net, giving the Knights a 2-0 lead.
Pressed into desperation mode, Mingus played far more aggressive in the second half, shaking off an early scoring chance from the Knights to press forward with possession.
The strategy paid off when Marauders forward Jaiden Behlow slipped past a defender to take a soft pass in the box, beating Havasu keeper Aubbie Harris to the ball to poke in a goal in the 53rd minute.
In the 65th minute, Harris had to make a save on Mingus’ Jasmine Vargas from point blank range, punching the attempt aside to be cleared by a Havasu defender.
Mingus made a handful of attempts in the closing minutes to find an equalizer but Havasu was able to brush them off, holding firm on the back line to earn the victory.
“It was not our best game,” Havasu coach Josh Kistler said.
“We lucked out early with those two goals and were able to hold it. They could have played a lot better. But, we’re going to state for the first time, that’s pretty cool.”
The Knights will find out their opponent during an AIA show this afternoon, playing the first round on the road on Saturday afternoon. Havasu will likely be the No. 15 seed after only one higher seed lost in the play-in round, No. 10 Mohave falling at home to No. 23 Yuma Gila Ridge 3-2.