Fast Start for Lady Prospectors

AJ Girls Soccer Sets Team Scoring Records in Opener

By Daniel Dullum

Opening night for the Apache Junction girls soccer team, on Nov. 27 at Davis Field, was memorable in more ways than one.

The Lady Prospectors set not one team record for scoring, but four in their 15-0 rout over Tempe Marcos de Niza.

AJ established records for most goals in a match, eclipsing the old mark of 12, set in 2016 vs. Phoenix St. Mary’s; and most goal scorers in a match with eight.

Katy Cafaro and Janeya O’Brien led the attack with three goals each. Emily Rutkowski and Memarie Gallegos scored two goals apiece, and Faith Rutkowski, Mattie McMinn, Kyra Ehrlich and Regan Rose each added one goal.

McMinn also finished with four assists.

The Lady Prospectors (3-1-1) also set records for most shots in a match (59) and shots on target (32).

Two days later, AJHS blanked Metro Tech 5-0 in Phoenix. Cafaro and Gallegos each scored two goals, the other belonging to McMinn. Cafaro and McMinn each had two assists; Gallegos had the other helper.

Goalkeeper Jessica Sigler registered her second straight shutout.


Apache Junction went 1-1-1 in its three matches in the Mesa Desert Ridge Tournament. The 4A Lady Prospectors lost 3-1 to 6A Chandler Basha, tied 5A San Tan Valley Poston Butte 1-1 and edged 5A Peoria Centennial 4-3.

“We knew Basha would be a really tough team, and our girls don’t have any fear this year,” AJ Coach Norm Hoefer said. “They truly believe they can beat everyone.

“Against Poston Butte, we maintained possession most of the game. We had a lot of opportunities, but just didn’t finish.”

Katy Cafaro scored two goals for AJ against Centennial, including one on a penalty kick in the second half.

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