After a tough closing week of the regular season, the Maricopa High School girls’ soccer team downed Marana in the 5A play-in tournament to advance to the state championship bracket.
The 4-1 win over the Tigers came after the Rams lost two games by a combined score of 9-0. The girls rebounded with aggressive play, however, and scored three in the first half on a chilly evening north of Tucson.
Led by sophomore McKinley Hacker’s two goals, Maricopa pulled off a slight upset. The Rams were ranked 17th while the Tigers were 16th. They both had 7-5 records.
In net, freshman Jessica Taylor had eight saves.
Sophomore Anna Kramarczyk scored a goal and had an assist. Senior Saneya Cowing was credited with a goal, and junior Jezelle Magallanes had an assist.
With Maricopa, there are four 5A San Tan teams in the 16-team championship bracket.
The Rams are now seeded 15th and will face No. 2 Campo Verde, which defeated Maricopa 4-1 during the regular season. Campo Verde had been top-ranked until being defeated by Casteel in the last game of the regular season. Casteel is now the No. 1 seed in the bracket.
Maricopa plays Saturday at 5 p.m. at Campo Verde High School, 3870 S. Quartz St., Gilbert.