The Mesa girls soccer team played in the Chandler Prep Invitational.
The Jackrabbits (4-7-2) topped Gilbert Classical and Cactus to win their pool, lost to Carl Hayden in the semifinals and defeated Chandler Prep 4-0 for third place.
Sara Vendrick has been the team’s top scorer all year, while Aracely Medina, Jessica Davila, Brenda Anaya and CJ Keeton scored in the final match of the weekend.
Although the competition came against smaller programs, it was a nice confidence boost for Mesa considering the season started poorly at 1-6-1 and as the Jackrabbits were outscored 34-7.
The Dobson girls team was also in the tournament but failed to make it out of pool play.
In regular season, freedom game action Desert Ridge soccer programs swept the Red Mountain programs Friday as the Jaguar boys (5-3-2) and the girls (7-3-1) won with identical 2-1 scores.
Last week sprinkled in a few region games before the holiday tournaments start after Christmas.
Mesa (9-2) and Mountain View (7-3) have the early lead in the East Valley Region at 2-0 and 1-0, respectively, and did so with impressive fashion as the Jackrabbits blew out Westwood and Toros hammered Skyline.
The two rivals won’t face each other until Jan. 12 at Mesa and then the second game is the regular season finales on Feb. 6.
“We are still figuring some things out,” Mountain View coach Gary Ernst said. “We can go with our big lineup like we did (against Skyline). We’ve also played well with a smaller lineup. I think this is a team that can really be good.”
On the girls side, Red Mountain and Skyline top the standings in the early going at 2-0 in the East Valley Region as the Mountain Lions beat Dobson 52-46 and the Coyotes topped Mountain View 47-44.
Red Mountain heads to Las Vegas this week for the Tarkanian Classic and open the tournament against Campolindo of Moraga, Calif., on Wednesday.
Most of the teams are having some downtime before the holiday tournaments get started, including this weekend at Moon Valley where Mesa and Dobson will be competing.
Then after Christmas five teams – Mountain View, Mesa, Westwood, Red Mountain and Desert Ridge – are all competing in the Steve Blackford Duals at Arizona State, Dec. 27-28.
– Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send Mesa-based story ideas to email@example.com.