BULLHEAD CITY — When your team has only two victories on the season and your players are exhausted from a grueling schedule, what do you do?
If you’re River Valley High girls soccer coach Ed Marquez, you keep things in perspective and keep encouraging them.
“We’re tired and have some nagging injuries, but the girls are doing their best,” said the level-headed mentor prior to Tuesday night’s match with Northwest Christian of Phoenix at Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse.
For the game’s first few minutes, there were signs of hope for the Lady Dust Devils, but the visitors’ Belle Floyd broke the ice for a 1-0 lead.
Within a matter of seconds, it was 2-0.
Before the scorekeeper could update the scoreboard, the Lady Crusaders’ Savanna Ficarra staked her squad to a 3-0 advantage.
They didn’t let up. Approximately 10 minutes into the game, it was 4-0 thanks to Macie Angell’s blast.
Northwest Christian’s next goal came in the form of a penalty kick, which all but sealed the deal.
By the time intermission rolled around, River Valley was staring up from a 9-0 hole.
The Lady Devils displayed sharper defense early in the second half — but that effort lasted only eight minutes, whereupon the Lady Crusaders’ offensive performance reached a perfect 10.
How else could the visitors possibly score? By a deflection off a corner kick, resulting in an 11-0 deficit that soon became the final.
River Valley’s body language said it all. With 20 minutes remaining, the referee had seen enough and enacted the mercy rule.