After its lowest-scoring output of the season, Mullen got back to its offensive ways on Saturday … and its defense continued to dominate.
The Mustangs easily handled visiting Cherokee Trail 8-0 on a brilliantly sunny and unusually warm early spring afternoon, a Centennial League victory that pushed them to 4-0 overall and in league, and boosted their scoring differential in the new Season C to a ridiculous 19-2, including three shutouts.
The Mustangs sit atop the league standings and are first in goals and goal permitted. The Cougars are 1-4.
Coming off a match in which it downed host Eaglecrest 2-0, Mullen broke out in a big way to set up a very important final week of regular-season play.
Head coach Matthew Guglielmo simply stood on the sideline and enjoyed it.
“Life is good,” he said. “We played really well. (The Cougars, 1-4) had only given up a few goals to some good teams; we hung eight on them. They didn’t score, we got guys into the game to see what it’s like and treated the fans on an Easter weekend. And we got to rest players.”
Eli Kerschen topped Mullen with three goals, and Andrew DeBerardinis and A.J. Gamueda each had two. Gamueda added three assists and DeBerardinis had two.
The Mustangs built a 3-0 halftime margin and ran away down the stretch.
“Yeah, I think it’s good what we’re doing,” Gamueda, a senior, said, “but I think we could have played better. We still got the win, so that’s good … we adapt to whatever we can.”
Kerschen, a junior, said “4-0 is awesome, but I think this game helped us with confidence. We were slow in the first half, but came out fast in the second half. We do all of this finishing stuff in practice, but you have to do it in the game – that’s when it matters.”
Overall, Guglielmo said, “we just went right at them, we pressed them and we weren’t happy with three goals at halftime.”
It will turn even more interesting – the Mustangs will be at home three times this week, vs. Arapahoe on Tuesday, April 6, 4:30 p.m.; vs. Grandview on Thursday, April 8, 4:30 p.m.; and vs. Smoky Hill on Saturday, April 10, noon. The seeded league tournament will handle the final three matches before playoffs.
“We definitely know it’s coming,” Kerschen said, “and we’re ready to win.”
MULLEN 8, CHEROKEE TRAIL 0
Cherokee Trail 0 0 -- 0
Mullen 3 5 -- 8
Goals – Eli Kerschen 3, Andrew DeBerardinis 2, A.J. Gamueda 2, Ethan Lehman.
Assists – A.J. Gamueda 3, Andrew DeBerardinis 2, Andrew McGrath, Cody Muir, Nathan Muir.