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'Stangs open with a road shutout

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
Mullen takes down Overland 6-0 in Centennial League opener; coach seeks further improvement; match on Saturday at Cherry Creek is next.
GREENWOOD VILLAGE -- There are debuts and there are debuts …

And then there are debuts …

Mullen had one on Thursday evening at the Stutler Bowl. After delays courtesy of Colorado’s usual late snowstorms to the new Season C, which basically is a leftover period from fall because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Mustangs finally opened with a convincing 6-0 decision of Overland in the Centennial League. It was Mullen’s first six-goal game in league since beating the Trailblazers (0-2) 9-2 in the loop finale on Oct. 16, 2018.

But despite all of their shots, footwork, passing and defending, head coach Matthew Guglielmo knows the proverbial work in early season must continue.

“No, I can’t whine,” he said afterward. “I love a victory, I love the shutout and I love that everyone got to play and we looked good, but I wouldn’t say we were clinical in some pieces of the game. We looked nervous and it was a sustained nervousness … I love the result, but I’m not that pleased with the way we played. We have to be better than that.”

It also is believed to be the first Mullen boys soccer game held in March.

“Yeah, it probably is,” the coach said. “But we talk about it. We just play. (His players) don’t talk about the COVID, the 3,000 to 800 kids … they just play, we just go out there and we do our thing.”

Mullen built a 4-0 lead in the first half that included two scores from Ethan Lehman, who said he’s aware of all of the changes this season, but refuses to be affected by them.

“Yeah, it’s good to be out here,” the sophomore said. “It’s doable … it’s definitely different weather from the fall, but you just adapt and get ready. And it’s good (for the Class 4A Mustangs) to be playing all big (5A) teams.”

Lehman’s goals began and ended first-half scoring. In between, Eli Kerschen and A.J. Gamueda found the back of the net. After halftime, junior Andrew DeBerardinis and freshman Jaycee Campos scored in the final minutes to cap the rout.

“I’m encouraged,” Lehman said.

So is Guglielmo, whose team will be at Cherry Creek on Saturday, 4 p.m.

“I’m always happy, but will never be satisfied,” the coach said.

Mullen  4  2  --  6

Overland  0  0  --  0

1, Ethan Lehman (Eli Kerschen), 7th minute; 2, Eli Kerschen (A.J. Gamueda), 20th minute; 3, A.J. Gamueda (unassisted), 29th minute; 4, Ethan Lehman (unassisted), 38th minute; 5, Andrew DeBerardinis (Paddy Bradley), 75th minute; 6, Jaycee Campos (Leo Aguilar), 78th minute.