Despite falling 3-1 to Flagstaff Tuesday night to open the 2012-13 soccer season, the Kingman High boys soccer team had reason to walk off the field with their heads held high.
The Bulldogs fell to an Eagles team that made the Division II state playoffs last year and are expected to make a run again this year.
"We just got beat. They didn't get lucky. They just beat us, and now we know what to practice on," said first year coach Kevin Wilkerson.
"I'm impressed with the way they played. Everyone gave it their heart and soul. Everyone was working and giving a hundred percent. I'm happy. To go up against one of the best teams in the state, a team that went to the state playoffs last year and only to lose 3-1 - I'd rather not lose, but it could've gone worse."
Sergio Zubiate got the Bulldogs on the board in the fifth minute off an assist from Darian Kamin. Flagstaff added a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead at halftime and added a third goal in the 46th minute.
"They are just a tough team and their ball skills are just insane," Wilkerson said. "They just beat us because they are a better team."
KHS (0-1) had nine shots on goal and 18 saves. The Bulldogs will host Flagstaff Coconino Tuesday before traveling to the Mohave County Tournament next weekend.