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Cienega converts on corner kick to beat Sahuaro

Time was getting tight for the Cienega Bobcats, so it was time for the script.

“We have been very successful with corner kicks,” said Andrew Crow, who launched the start of the winning sequence in a 1-0 victory against Sahuaro on Tuesday.

The win gave the Bobcats an opening-game win in pool play of the 16-team Sabercat Chris Maier Invitational boys soccer tournament at Sabino High School.

Crow put the corner kick into play in the 68th minute of a defensive tussle. Cienega’s Matt Cartwright took the ball and quickly set up Matt Cahill’s header goal in front of Sahuaro goalkeeper K. Daniel Bacon.

“It was a big old gap in the middle,” said Crow. “It was one of our planned kicks. You get it off and we pretty much dart toward the penalty area. We had a chance earlier on a corner kick but didn’t capitalize.”

Cahill did some manuevering to find the ball.

Crow said, “He (Bacon) is about 6 feet 4 and he was marking another guy. The ball went an inch over his head.”

Both teams’ defenses held strong throughout. Cienega ended with just five shots on goal. The Cougars had seven.

“We encouraged them to string passes together in the middle part of the field and defend with intensity,” said Cienega head coach Dean Nourse.

Sahuaro managed a shot in 76th minute but into the arms of Cienega goalie Justin Hull.

“It was a fun game to play,” said Crow, “but I don’t think either team played up to 100 percent potential.”

Sunnyside 6, Palo Verde 2: The Blue Devils were led by Robert Gonzalez who scored all three of his goals in the first half. Fabian Romero assisted two of Gonzalez’s goals in the 3rd and 11th minutes.

Romero’s third assist came in the 59th minute on a Rennier Ballesteros goal.

Assani Igulu scored both of Palo Verde’s goals.

Sabino 3, Rio Rico 1: The scoring was spread out for the Sabercats in its victory.

Alex Elenas-Long scored the game’s first goal in the 19th minute while teammate Ben Liwski increased Sabino’s lead with a goal in the 39th minute. Richie Comeaux had the assist in Liwski’s goal. Jann Nash scored the third goal for the Sabercats in the 60th minute.

Ironwood Ridge 3, Flowing Wells 0: Ethan Schmidt scored twice for the Nighthawks while goalkeeper Ben Ambrosio had eight saves for Ironwood Ridge.

Tucson High 2, Sahuaro 0: Jorge Bravo and Pablo Ungson each scored a goal for the Badgers.

Sahuarita 1, Mountain View 0: Eddie Maynerd scored the only goal of the game. Teammate Kevin Heintz had two saves.

– RAYMOND SUAREZ, rsuarez@tucsoncitizen.com (rsuarez@tucsoncitizen.com)

For more on high school sports, check out the Grammer School sports blog.

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