The 2A Conference Northland Prep Spartans boys soccer team got the new year started off well Friday with a 3-0 shutout win over 2A North Region rival Ash Fork at Sinagua Middle School.
With second-year head coach Erik Carrillo continuing to build the Northland Prep program, there was a new level of energy coming from the team now that the season is back.
The team worked well as a unit; offense and defense both made a name for themselves Friday afternoon. Less than five minutes into the first half Northland Prep freshman Keenan Graber made the first goal, catching Ash Fork by surprise. Northland Prep had possession of the ball for most of the first half and when Ash Fork, also the Spartans and playing in their season opener, did have the ball on the rare chances, they missed both goal attempts in the opening half.
Northland Prep goalie Connor Barta blocked the three goal attempts Ash Fork had for the entire game with ease.
Carrillo was pleased with the performance he saw Friday from his team.
“We wanted to possess the ball and open up the field, so that's what they did today and I loved what I saw," Carrillo said.
Carrillo said with the boys coming out on top after being out five months and having such a strong start to their season, gets him excited to make a lot progress with his new team.
Northland Prep Spartans senior striker Kyle Zigich made two of the three goals scored, both of which were in the second half of the game. Zigich followed Graber's style and scored his first goal minutes into the half. He dominated the field in terms of possessions, keeping the ball away from Ash Fork. Coming off a foot injury, Zigich plans on being the best he can be, not only for himself but his teammates as well.
“I’m just trying my best to improve this year, and so far it is going well and I just want to lead my team to victory," Zigich said.
Because Flagstaff Unified School District made the decision to put competitions on hold until further notice as of Friday, Northland Prep's upcoming road matches against Camp Verde and Payson are up in the air. Northland Prep officials stated they will reevaluate the school's athletics.
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