Claire Caviolo hustles after the ball during Desert Vista’s game with Red Mountain.
Special to AFN

Even after facing an early 1-0 deficit against Red Mountain, the Desert Vista High School girls soccer team came from behind to win its seventh game of the season two weeks ago.

Coming from behind isn’t something the Thunder have had to face this year.

They have allowed only eight goals all season long and three of them came in a 3-0 loss to Perry High.

But Megan Brouse, Emily Carney, Sophia Budge and Hannah Minch all found the back of the net and senior goalkeeper Amanda Green made five saves to contribute to the 4-2 come-from-behind victory against Red Mountain.

“We’ve tried a couple different schemes to get everyone on the team some playing time and figure out what groups click,” coach Marvin Hypolite said. “I think we did really really well and I think things have gone fairly well.”

Last season, the Thunder made a trip to the 6A state championships after finishing the regular season with a record of 22-4-1. They fell 2-0 to Xavier Prep in the state championship.

Of that state championship team, the Thunder lost two leading scorers in Paige Maling and Caroline Bych, who combined for 24 goals and 14 assists.

Even with the loss of the two seniors, Hypolite believes that last year’s state championship run gave his team experience for this season.

“We do have a good group of seniors who have been there,” Hypolite said. “So, I think even though we lost a lot, we also gained a lot. We have a good mixture of both experience and youth.”

So far through this season, that experience has shown for the Thunder as 11 different players have found the back of the net and junior Megan Brouse has a team-high four goals.

They scored a season-high 13 goals against Westview High and scored another nine against Gilbert High during the Coyote Classic at Campo Verde High School.

While the offense has tallied a total of 35 goals through the early part of the season, the Thunder defense has been just as good.

Senior goalie Amanda Green has returned from last year’s state championship run and the defense has taken shape around her.

“Defense is really an aspect that is highly important that we preach even to our forwards, and that’s where it starts,” Hypolite said. “We take pride in that stability and keeping that goals against at zero. We take pride in that.”

The Thunder excelled in the first half of the 2017 season and over the holiday break had a great opportunity to figure out just how good they are by competing in the Arizona Showcase at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in northern Phoenix.

With 30 girls teams and 32 boys teams playing at the complex over a four-day stretch, the Thunder in their  first game defeated Notre Dame Prep 1-0 before tying Millennium and falling to Villa Park 3-0 in the final pool play game.

Although the Thunder have excelled through the first part of the season, Hypolite believes the team still has room for improvement.

The team has found its rotations and schemes, now just is looking to create a little bit of momentum.

“I am really looking forward to this year as well. Firstly, it’s an opportunity for us to see where we are at and I want to start building that momentum and start seeing that ability,” Hypolite said.

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