Sahuaro battles but has no answer for penalty kick
Flowing Wells got its revenge and a 4A Kino Region championship with one strong kick by Skye Schultz.
Looking to erase the memory of a 2-1 loss to Sahuaro on Jan. 20, the Caballeros star sent a penalty kick into the net in the 78th minute of Thursday’s title tilt at Desert View High School, giving Flowing Wells a 3-2 win.
“There is a pretty strong rivalry between our two schools but we respect them and they respect us,” said Schultz, who scored twice Thursday.
Flowing Wells took a 2-0 lead in the first 24 minutes, but Sahuaro cut the lead to 2-1 three minutes later on a Briana Simpson breakaway shot in the 27th minute.
Sahuaro’s Lily Haspert’s free kick in the 75th minute tied the game at 2, only three minutes before the game winner.
“I think mentally to show that we can keep going and win this game is a positive,” said Flowing Wells coach Sean Ochoa, whose team made it to the state semifinals last year. “The style of play . . . we played this game is not what we want going forward to state. We are much more of a possession type of team.”
Sahuaro’s coach, while not happy with the result, wasn’t disappointed with what he saw Thursday.
“This is a game that I was hoping for,” Sahuaro coach Dave Kruszewski said. “Flowing Wells is one of the best teams in the state so we wanted this game to be very competitive. It was fortunate that we were down at the half because I felt it would be a good lesson to have to come back after being down against a good team, approaching the state playoffs.”
4A Gila Region championship: At Amphi, Palo Verde won its ninth straight game behind a LaAndra Smith goal in the 13th minute and a Kanasha Smith goal off a header in the 41st minute for a 2-0 win over Douglas.
“People are now seeing the real Palo Verde,” said coach Jim Mentz, whose team lost twice to Douglas earlier this year, 4-0 and 2-0. “What’s real satisfying is nobody believed in us when we went 1-3 in the Brandon Bean (tournament), or when we were 2-5 going into the Christmas break, or even when we were 5-6 after our home tournament, which we didn’t win.”
4A Sonoran Region championship: At Canyon del Oro, Catalina Foothills forward Nikki Hussey scored off an Elly Havel assist in the fifth minute and benefited from two second half own goals from CDO in a 3-0 win for the Sonoran Region championship.
At Desert View High School, the Nogales boys soccer team beat Sabino 4-3 with an 8-7 edge in a shootout for the 4A Kino Region championship.
Jeff Weiler scored twice for Sabino.
4A Gila Region championship: At Amphi, Catalina defeated Douglas 3-0 behind two Wais Khairandesh goals.
Mario Moraga scored a goal and had an assist for the Trojans.
5A-I Southern Region semifinals: At Tucson High, Salpointe defeated Sierra Vista Buena 1-0 after Blake Brennan scored in the 93rd minute with an assist from Philip Porter.
The Lancers will play Tucson High for the region championship at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Tucson High.
5A-II Southern Region semifinals: At Tucson High, Sunnyside defeated Mountain View 5-1 and will advance to play Rincon/University on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. at Tucson High.
Staff writers Geoff Grammer and Raymond Suarez contributed to this article.