Manitou Springs' Brooklyn Mack continues strong girls' soccer season against Colorado Springs School

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Photo - Manitou Springs forward Brooklyn Mack breaks through Colorado Springs School defenders Autumn Crow (left) and Ali Graham while chasing the ball at CSS, on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Manitou Springs defeated Colorado Springs School 8-0.

(Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

Manitou Springs forward Brooklyn Mack breaks through Colorado Springs School defenders Autumn Crow (left) and Ali Graham while chasing the ball at CSS, on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Manitou Springs defeated Colorado Springs School 8-0. (Nadav Soroker, The Gazette)

Manitou Springs senior Brooklyn Mack thought her junior season might be “the year” for the Mustang girls’ soccer program, but the 9-1 start to the 2018 season following Thursday’s 8-0 win at Colorado Springs School has the CSU-Pueblo commit re-evaluating.

The Mustangs have won all their games by at least five goals with their lone loss being a 1-0 result at Jefferson Academy.

“We didn’t think this year was going to be as successful as it has been, but right away after the first couple practices, we were like, ‘We can actually maybe even go further than last year,’” Mack said. “We thought last year was going to be our year to do it, but this year seems like it’s going to be the one.”

Mack has been integral in the Manitou Springs attack, and that was the case Thursday. She scored a pair of second half goals to complete a hat trick, giving her 20 goals for the season, her last playing for her dad.

“It’s been fun. It’s been interesting,” Mustangs coach Ben Mack said with a chuckle. “It’s super awesome, obviously, to have your daughter and be able to coach them. It’s been a really exciting year, super proud as a dad, of course.”

While the Mustangs controlled possession throughout, it took more than 20 minutes for the visitors to find a breakthrough, as Autumn Crow orchestrated an effective offsides trap for CSS.

“I thought they played organized in the back, and I thought they played with a lot of heart,” Ben Mack said.

“They kinda frustrated us the first 20 minutes.”

The frustration ended when Bridget Bodor capitalized when Kodiaks (3-4) keeper Sam Warhoe couldn’t quite reach a ball, leaving the Mustang a full goal to shoot at. Mack scored her first minutes later, and the Mustangs took a 2-0 lead to the half.

Olivia McKenna and Mylea Harangozo added their names to the list of scorers early in the second half before Mack scored her second and third.

“It took a while for us to get our tempo, but once we found it, I think we all connected really well and found a way to finish the game how we want to,” the senior striker said.

Caileen Sienknecht and Sophie Mckeown tallied Mantiou Springs’ final two goals.

CSS’s best look at goal came in the final 10 minutes when an attack produced a flurry of chances, but the final shot was wide. Thursday’s game was about playing the right way and learning against a superior opponent for the Kodiaks, and the effort pleased coach Mark Perdew.

“We certainly tried to continue to do that even though we were under a ton of pressure the entire game,” Perdew said. “I was really proud of how we stepped up and played hard the whole time.”

After a string of lopsided wins, Manitou Springs expects better challenges out of its final five games. That starts Saturday against a St. Mary’s squad that also made the Class 3A playoffs in 2017.

“Saturday is going be really exciting because we haven’t really had that competition that we’ve needed,” Brooklyn Mack said. “Saturday is going to get us ready for playoffs just in time.”