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October 29, 2010
By tyler dungannon of Phoenix High School

TALENT - Phoenix had the Skyline Conference boys soccer No. 2 spot locked up entering the regular-season finale against Mazama Thursday, but the Pirates didn't take anything for granted.

Phoenix scored early and often in a 6-2 victory at Hagler-James Park.

It was the Pirates' fifth victory in their last six games. Phoenix (9-4, 7-3 Sky) is scheduled to host the Far West League No. 3 team in Class 4A play-in game next week.

Phoenix scored four unanswered goals in the first 17 minutes.

"We were definitely motivated," said Phoenix coach Dennis Flenner. "We're looking forward to the playoffs and didn't want to finish league play lackadaisically."

Junior outside halfback James Castillo helped get the Pirates to a successful start. Castillo, who had been nursing an injury, assisted on the their first three goals, then scored to open the second half.

"(Castillo) got after it," said Flenner. "He decided today was going to be his day."

Jalisco Macias opened the scoring in the third minute, followed three minutes later by Hunter Sunitsch. Then David Espana netted a pair of goals, with Macias assisting on the second.

Marco Nuno's goal off a corner kick at the 40th minute sent Mazama into halftime trailing 4-1.

Castillo scored off a Macias assist in the first minute of the second period, and Sunitsch added the Pirates' final goal unassisted in the eighth minute.

Josh Hunsinger accounted for Mazama's second goal.

"We controlled the ball and we controlled the pitch," said Flenner. "We did a great job on possession."

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