Salpointe beats Sabino in overtime, 3-2by Andy Morales on Jan. 24, 2012, under Sports
Soccer Playoff Procedure
16 team bracket: Each of the three sections per division will receive three automatic bids each for a total of 12 bids. The remaining seven teams (at-large) will come from all the sections combined based on power points.
The top four teams in each division will host their first round match and then their second round match if they win.
The Salpointe girls (6-5) took a major step in securing one of the at-large bids by beating Sabino (6-3) on Monday night in overtime. The Sabercats have lost three in a row to drop out of the top three in their section but they still remain a strong choice for one of the at-large bids with Rincon (6-4, Tuesday) and Catalina Foothills (8-1, Thursday) left on their schedule.
Salpointe broke their two-game losing streak with the victory. Salpointe plays at Foothills on Wednesday night to end their schedule. The Lancers are currently ranked 15th in power points so they will be living on the bubble until Thursday night.
Sabino took their first shot on goal in the first 30 seconds of the match and it looked like this game would wind up the same as their previous match on January 9 where Sabino took out Salpointe 5-0 at home.
Salpointe beat Sabino 1-0 during the Tucson High Champions Cup back in December but those matches do not count towards power points whereas the 5-0 loss did.
Salpointe appeared to be packing it in on defense early on with eight or sometimes nine defenders near their box but they began to attack midway through the first half and actually took a 5-4 shot advantage over Sabino going into the half.
With the score tied 0-0, it looked like this match would eventually be destined for penalty kicks but sophomore Maddi Quinn broke through with a long header in the 49th minute to put Sabino up 1-0. Junior Shannon Shields assisted on a deep and perfect throw-in.
“We practice that play all the time,” remarked a relieved Sabino coach Brenda Lowery during the match.
Salpointe junior Lauren Dolezal appeared to tie the match up in the 57th minute but sophomore goalie Sylvanna Islas made a diving stop to her right to preserve the lead. It was the beginning of a wild ride where each side took multiple shots.
Shields took a shot in the 61st minute but it flew about a foot over the cross bar then Salpointe junior Anne Batik took a shot that landed just right of the goal a minute later.
Salpointe freshman Bryanna Sanchez found the net in the 64th minute on an assist from senior Arianna Resendiz to tie it up 1-1. It was a controversial goal that appeared to hit the crossbar and bounce straight down to Islas but the goal was awarded.
Sabino senior Addison Brown responded one minute later (65th) to put Sabino up 2-1 on another assist from Shields from the left side.
Salpointe’s freshman goalie Erika Garcia kept the Lancers in the game with her own dive to stop a shot in the 76th minute.
Islas got back in the action with a mad scramble on her end two minutes later that resulted in Islas, a defender and a Salpointe forward fighting for the ball while all three were lying in front of the goal. That ball was eventually booted out.
Sabino was called for an illegal hand touch with two minutes left in the match from about 40 yards out from their goal. The resulting kick by Salpointe put the ball right in front of Sabino’s goal where it was kicked around a couple of times before Salpointe Junior Hailey Huff netted it off of a rebound (Resendiz) to tie the match 2-2 in the 78th minute.
Salpointe senior Katie McGinnis scored off of an assist by senior Paige McFarland in the 87th minute to put the Lancers up 3-2 heading into the second overtime period.
The Sabercats had two chances in the final period but Shields just missed a goal in the 92nd minute and then Quinn missed a header in the 99th.
“I’ve played all four years on varsity,” said McGinnis. “This sealed the deal for me. It’s the greatest feeling. They are a really great team but we brought it today.”
Salpointe coach Dave Peron commented that he was proud how his team responded after Sabino had just “demolished them” in their last meeting.
“I’ve been telling the kids: they can, they can, they can,” he said. “We play in a tough section and I’m really proud of them. They did what they were supposed to do tonight.”
“Sabino wanted the last game more than us,” added McGinnis. “But we never look back at the last game. We play in the moment.”
For Salpointe, their next moment will have to be at Catalina Foothills on Wednesday night. Sabino must win one at Rincon before they even think about Foothills.
That game, however, could decide almost everything.
Tucson (9-1) is ranked third in Section II. The Badgers will host Sunnyside (2-8, Tuesday) and Mountain View (3-6, Friday). They have the last automatic bid but could fall out of an at-large bid if they lose both matches with an overall 12 ranking.
Catalina Foothills (9-1) is ranked second in Section II and third in Division II. They travel to Sahuaro (6-4, Tuesday) and Sabino (2-7, Thursday). The Falcons are safe either way.
Salpointe (10-2) is ranked third in Section II and fourth overall. Their 6-0 victory at Sabino as yet to be calculated in the power point system. The Lancers are safe.
Nogales looks safe for an at-large bid at (8-2) but CDO (7-3) and Sahuaro (6-4) are on the outside at 18 and 19 but could move up with wins. It will be difficult.
Catalina (9-1) is ranked second in Section III. They host Palo Verde (7-3) Tuesday and travel to Tanque Verde (3-7) on Thursday. They are in.
Douglas (8-2) is also safe with a pair of matches against Santa Rita (2-7) remaining.
Palo Verde and Rio Rico (6-4) are the only viable bubble teams left.
Mountain View (9-1) is ranked second in Section II but they have two of the hardest matches left in the state. They host (9-1) Pinnacle Tuesday night and travel to Ironwood Ridge (8-2) on Thursday.
Tucson (7-4) must beat Buena (7-3) on Tuesday and pray for help at number 19.
Catalina Foothills is the top team in Section II but they have three tough matches this week and they are all at home: Sahuaro (Tuesday), Salpointe (Wednesday) and Sabino (Thursday). If they lose one of them they might not be able to host a playoff match.
That’s why you can’t just say the top 16 teams are in. Even though they rule their section, they are clinging to a third rank in their division.
Ironwood Ridge is second but sixth in the division and Sahuaro is third but eighth. Sahuarita (9-1) could move back into an automatic bid without having to play any of the other playoff teams from division II.
Sabino is sitting at 13 and Salpointe at 15.
Palo Verde (10-0) is a lock. One of three undefeated teams in their division. They should be able to host the first two rounds.
Tanque Verde (9-2) is ranked second in Section III and they travel to Catalina (6-4) on Thursday. Safford (9-2) is ranked third.
Douglas (6-4) is ranked 17th in the division and they play Santa Rita (2-8) twice to end the regular season. This is how crazy the system works: they are one place out of an automatic bid and one spot out of an at-large bid.