TUCSON -- Mariel Gutierrez’s wonder strike lifted FC Tucson Women to a 1-0 win in its Arizona derby match against Phoenix del Sol on Friday night at Kino North Stadium.
In the first of two meetings this weekend between the Arizona sides, FC Tucson (3-1-0) scored the deciding goal early. In the seventh minute, midfielder Mariel Gutierrez -- who scored both goals in the team’s 2-1 win over San Diego SeaLions last week -- hit a perfect shot from about 35 yards, guiding the ball over the Phoenix goalkeeper who had come off her line to give Tucson an early advantage.
FC Tucson stayed on the attack for the rest of the match too, hitting the post three times after taking the lead. In the 35th, a curling free kick clanked low off the left post before a shot off the rebound was sent wide. A 75th minute header from midfielder Brianna Barreiro hit the middle of the crossbar. In the 82nd minute, another chipped shot from outside the box bounced off the left post too.
Defensively, FC Tucson controlled the game. Goalkeeper Malia Vanisi was called into action in the 69th minute and turned away a close range shot.
The win moves FC Tucson Women into first place of the Pac South division in the WPSL, leapfrogging it over Phoenix Del Sol with nine points.
FC Tucson Women will be back in action on Sunday when it travels north to face Phoenix del Sol again at the Reach 11 Sports Complex. That match will kick off at 9 a.m.