Junior forward Torey Braly continued her stellar season Tuesday, Feb. 1, this time on the biggest stage Arizona high school soccer has to offer in the 4A-II conference state playoffs.
Braly recorded a hat trick in a -0 win for the Mingus Union High School girls soccer team Tuesday, advancing the Marauders to round two.
“Torey [Braly] is an exceptional athlete,” Mingus Head Coach Buddy Rhodes said. “In my opinion, she is one of the best forwards in the state, regardless of region or conference.”
Braly certainly proved her coach right Tuesday against Liberty High School at the Reach 11 Complex in Phoenix in round one, recording the hat trick and improving on her own school record of goals scored in a season with 39.
The Marauders began the match like they were running in mud, but Braly tried to change that with a goal in the fifth minute to give Mingus a 1-0 lead.
The girls in white continued to struggle in the first half, missing many opportunities to score but in the end, the defense continued to do its job.
“You have to also keep in mind we have a stellar defense. We’ve been keeping other teams out of the goal which allows our offense to open up and go score,” Rhodes said.
In the second half, Mingus did just that, passing and weaving, giving Braly a chance to get her hat trick.
Braly netted her second goal in the 58th minute, and her third in the 64th minute to give the Marauders a 3-0 advantage and eventually the win.
Mingus goalkeeper Courtney Hageman didn’t have much work Tuesday, recording only two saves as the Lions didn’t mount much of an attack.
Junior Taylor Brott took over between the posts with 10 minutes to go and continued to do good work for the Marauders, keeping the shutout intact and helping Mingus advance.
With the 3-0 win, Mingus improves its record to 13-3 [4-0, 4A-II Grand Canyon] overall this season.
Mingus went into the state playoffs with a No. 4 ranking, which matched it up with No. 14 Liberty.
The Marauders will have a few days of rest and practice before they lace up their cleats again against No. 11 Higley High School, which upset No. 6 Williams Field High School, 4-3.
The match against Higley in round two of the state playoffs will take place Saturday, Feb. 5. A place and time is yet to be determined.