PHOENIX – It took a shootout to take down the Rincon/University High School boys soccer team Thursday night at Grand Canyon University.
The third-seeded Rangers, who lost in overtime of last year’s Class 5A Division II state championship game, came up agonizingly short again in this year’s title game in a 2-1 (4-2 in penalty kicks) loss to No. 1 Tolleson.
Rincon, playing in its third-straight championship game, won the 4A-I championship in 2007.
“This is the kind of way you want the final state championship game to be like,” said Rincon coach Roxanne Taylor. “Tolleson came up big in the (penalty kicks) and we didn’t, and that’s the name of the game.”
In a defense-dominated game, Rincon senior Mihn Vu managed to get off plenty of shots, including the Rangers’ lone goal during regulation, a laser shot just past outstretched Tolleson keeper Memo Benitez in the 16th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Vu later had two shots bounce off the crossbar, both of which would have been go-ahead scores after Tolleson tied it at 1 with a goal in the 19th minute.
“I think it was bad luck,” Vu said. “. . . Tonight, it didn’t go in.”
During overtime, Tolleson kept the ball in Ranger territory most of the time, but neither team was able to get off a decent shot, leading to the shootout.
Vu, a striker, donned the goalie jersey for the shootout, and also took the first shot, which was blocked.
Tolleson got four straight goals from Gilberto Gomez, Adrian Lopez, Juan Serrano and Dany Carlos. Rincon got its shootout goals from Colin Anderson and Edgar Torres.
“Unfortunately in sports somebody has to win and somebody has to lose,” Taylor said. “We have nine seniors . . . they got us to here. We came up on the short end, but they should be proud.”
Class 4A Division II
The Douglas Bulldogs advanced to Saturday’s 4A-II championship at Arizona State University with a 1-0 (3-1 in penalty kicks) win over No. 11 Phoenix Raymond S. Kellis.
Douglas dodged a bullet when Raymond S. Kellis missed a penalty kick with 4.6 seconds left in the second 10-minute overtime, sending the game into a shootout tied 0-0.
In the shootout, Douglas goalkeeper Meoqui Skinner blocked two of the first three penalty kicks to preserve the 3-1 shootout victory.
“It’s a group that deserves (going to the final),” Douglas coach Ken Cormier said. “We have 11 seniors.”
– JOSE GARCIA, The Arizona Republic
1A/2A/3A girls semifinals: No. 4 Pusch Ridge vs. No. 8 Phoenix Northwest Christian (5 p.m., Mesa Mountain View)
4A-I girls championship: No. 9 Flowing Wells vs. No. 3 Sahuaro (2:30 p.m., Tucson High)
4A-I boys championship: No. 5 Scottsdale Chaparral vs. No. 2 Canyon del Oro (noon, Tucson High)
4A-II boys championship: No. 5 Phoenix Cortez vs. No. 2 Douglas (3 p.m., Arizona State University; TV – Cox 7)
1A/2A/3A girls championship: TBD (10:30 a.m., Arizona State University)