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Mustangs girls soccer drops opener


By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen girls soccer began its season on Thursday, opening day for spring sports, with a 3-2 setback to Golden at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada.


The Mustangs dropped the Class 4A nonleague match despite goals by sophomores Anna Riddle and Jade Garcia. The Mustangs also mustered nine shots on goal.


However, the Jefferson County Demons got two of their scores in the second half to win it.


Mullen goalie Emma Ryan, another sophomore, faced nine shots.


The Mustangs will be idle for 11 days. Their next match will be March 19 at Holy Family in Broomfield, another 4A nonleaguer.



Spring Preview: Girls soccer ready to kick it in

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Look for both similarities and differences in this year’s Mullen girls soccer.

There will be a combination of familiar and new faces, standard and innovative styles, and a mix of past, present and future.

“It’s not like we’re this brand-new team,” head coach Matthew Guglielmo said. “We’ll look different, but we’ll still be athletic and play soccer just a little differently.”

The Mustangs were 12-5 overall and fell in Colorado’s 2017 Class 4A quarterfinals to Valor Christian. They were 3-4 in the 5A-based Centennial League.

“The league will always be a challenge for us,” the coach said. “It’s tough soccer and we’d like to get some wins. Then, outside the league we were also strong, knowing full well those teams can play.”

Some of the differences this year in personnel evolve around graduation losses, some transfers and issues with playing on the academy level, where soccer continues to battle the conflict.

“That has occurred,” Guglielmo said. “You can’t serve two masters.”

Two key starters return– Anna Brehm, a captain, four-year starter and center-back, and Kaylah Wanna, a center-mid.

Two freshmen will move into the starting lineup, Zoe Polzin, midfielder, and Anna Seaman, a striker. Fourth-year player Grace Reuter, junior Makena Guthrie and Leah Nuanes also will see lots of pitch time and, Guglielmo said, ”then we move up a bunch of players from (junior varsity).”

The Mustangs, who were 10-5 in the regular season, will open on Thursday, March 8, against Golden at the NAAC in Arvada, 6 p.m.

“We have girls improving on a daily basis, they’re receptive, coachable, playing hard, and they’re practicing hard and smartly, which matters,” Guglielmo said.


Mustangs win in first round of 4A playoffs

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was a cold, wet, windy and dreary late afternoon on Wednesday and the Mullen girls soccer team was down a few players, one to a red card (suspension) and two to injuries.

Sophomore Kaylah Wanna, like the rest of the Mustangs, was well aware and wanted to do something about it.

“We knew we had to win it for them,” Wanna said, “to be able to play in the playoffs (in the next round). So when the ball came, I wanted to get something on it, get a foot on it.”

Actually, Wanna got a lot of foot on it, scored the deciding goal, then added one for insurance as the Mustangs protected home pitch with a 3-1 decision of Palmer Ridge in the opening round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Mustangs, who made the semifinals a year ago, improved to 11-5 and will host Durango in the second round on Saturday. As of Wednesday evening, Mustangs officials were leaning toward a 1 p.m.start. The Demons are 12-4, have won five straight matches and are fresh from a 6-0 home whipping of Canon City.

Tied at 1 after the first half, Wanna and the Mustangs upped their pressure and responded quickly. In the 44th minute, she was able to get a ball from Anna Brehm and get it past Ali Tobey, a very game Bears keeper.

Mullen was able to handle exchanges from Palmer Ridge, which ended 7-9, into the final minutes and just missed a couple of times on opportunities out front of the Bears goal. Wanna then made it a two-goal bulge in the 75th minute from an offering by Jaya Trujillo.

Plus, the Mustangs withstood the late loss of keeper Kaitlynn Harry, who got kicked in the tooth off a scrum in front of the goal. Freshman Emma Ryan substituted and showed well, coach Matthew Guglielmo said, noting her couple of saves.

Overall, the coach said, his “biggest gripe” other than rough play under bad conditions was “we were not focused enough and didn’t play smart. We talked about it at halftime and we just didn’t fix it. And it all can’t be for missing some players.”

But, he added, “ultimately, we won the game and moved on. That’s the most important thing.”

Mullen, which put forth the effort, Guglielmo said, had trailed 1-0 as Palmer Ridge struck first, in the 22nd minute, but Trujillo, who assisted on Wanna’s second goal, headed home the equalizer 4 minutes later off a corner kick by Lilly Sanchez.

Wanna said Trujillo’s goal “helped everybody work harder.”

Guglielmo added that “any time you win in the tournament, it’s big.”

Plus, Wanna, sported a bloody lip for her efforts and was OK with it. Yes, she said, it’s also a fat lip, but she would gladly “trade it for a playoff victory ... any time.”



Palmer Ridge  1   0 – 1

Mullen        1   2   -- 3

Mullen goals (assists) – Trujillo (Sanchez) Wanna (Brehm); Wanna (Trujillo).



By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist


In three of the past four girls soccer seasons, Mullen couldn’t get past 10 victories.

At 10-5 entering the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs, the Mustangs have another opportunity to do it. They will host Monument’s Palmer Ridge on Wednesday in the preliminary round.

Seeded No. 8 in the field of 32, Mullen pronounced itself ready for the postseason prior to Tuesday’s practice and coach Matthew Guglielmo seemed at ease with his team’s placing in the bracket against perhaps an under-seeded foe.

“I think (our) number’s there, according to the RPI, and I agree with it,” he said, “but who we’re playing is by no means a No. 25. Palmer Ridge is probably a No. 12, (coach) Nick (Odil) is a great coach. We think it will be a very tight game.”

Senior Madi Johnson, a defensive-midfielder, concurred.  “I think we’re very confident, but we have to take it game-by-game,” she said. “Nothing is given to us.”

This is the time of year in which playing in the 5A-dominated Centennial League and all that comes with it can begin to matter, and the Mustangs are expecting experience against good competition to be a windfall.  “We don’t talk about it a lot during the season, but everyone knows playing those 5As is a little harder,” Guglielmo said. “Once in a while it will creep into the conversation.”


Molly Ballinger, a senior center-back, said “I think it helps us get ready for the playoffs, but I still think the competition in 4A is big.”  So does Guglielmo.  “If I start naming teams, I’ll omit somebody, of course, but I will tell you there are 10-to-11 (top) teams,” he said. “Valor’s excellent, D’Evelyn is good, Wheat Ridge is up there, Windsor is super, Ponderosa is up there … and Cheyenne Mountain is still good despite some injuries.”

And in addition to playing in the Centennial, the coach said, “there are just a lot of good 4A teams. And we’ve had a lot of hard games.”  Palmer Ridge is 7-8. Wednesday’s winner will take on the Canon City-Durango survivor in the Round of 16 on Saturday. winner on Saturday. The upper-left quadrant also contains the top seed, Valor Christian, which will face No. 32 Conifer, along with No. 16 Glenwood Springs and No. 17 Pueblo Centennial.  Johnson, who will attend Mercer, said “we’re upbeat and our anticipation is high.”  Bound for South Dakota State, Ballinger said she recalls the opening of the season, when “I think we started off pretty slow, but we’ve learned how to fight really hard with our team and our tougher components. I think we’re ready for the playoffs.”

The 4A quarterfinals are May 17, semifinals May 20 and championship May 24.



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