PHOENIX – For the third-straight year, the Rincon/University High School boys soccer team will be playing for a state championship.
The No. 3 Rangers beat No. 7 Phoenix North 2-0 in the Class 5A Division II semifinals Tuesday at Grand Canyon University.
“It’s a good feeling. We work well together as a team,” said senior striker Mihn Vu, who scored both Rangers goals.
Rincon won the 4A Division I title in 2007 and lost in the 2008 5A Division II title game.
The win marked the second straight shutout for Rincon goalkeeper Fernando Mendez, helping pave the way for the senior-led team.
Through much of the first half, neither team seemed to have much of an advantage until Vu broke the scoreless tie in the 38th minute off an assist from fellow senior Colin Anderson.
“The second half we were a totally different team, which seems to be the way we’ve been playing lately,” said Rincon coach Roxanne Taylor, who earlier this year won her 300th-career game. “We really dominated the midfield.”
The ball rarely entered Rincon territory in the second half. “We just moved the ball quicker, passed quicker, and just got one touch or two touches and got the shot off,” Vu said.
Vu scored his second goal in the 73rd minute off a Brice Nzeukou assist.
“(Vu) is just amazing. I am so proud of him and the way he steps up big,” Taylor said. “This is a really senior-dominated team and they all stepped up.”
The Rangers more than doubled North’s shots on goal 17-7.
Rincon will face No. 1 Tolleson in the championship at Grand Canyon University at 7 p.m. Thursday.
5A-I girls semifinals: No. 8 Salpointe vs. No. 4 Phoenix Desert Vista (5 p.m., Arizona State University)
4A-I girls semifinals: No. 9 Flowing Wells vs. No. 4 Prescott High (5 p.m., Tucson High); No. 3 Sahuaro vs. No. 2 Scottsdale Chaparral (7 p.m., Tucson High)
4A-II girls semifinals: No. 4 Douglas vs. No. 1 Cottonwood Mingus (5 p.m., Phoenix Paradise Valley High School)
5A-II girls championship: No. 3 Rincon/University vs. No. 1 Tolleson (7 p.m., Grand Canyon University in Phoenix)
4A-I boys semifinals: No. 3 Sabino vs. No. 2 Canyon del Oro (7 p.m., Tucson High)