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Marshall-Toia duo carries CDO to 4A-I state title

Citizen Staff Writer



No lead is safe against the Canyon del Oro High School boys soccer team.

The Dorados’ recent knack for come-from-behind victories continued Saturday as they scored two goals in the final nine minutes for a 2-1 win over Scottsdale Chaparral, earning No. 2-seeded CDO the Class 4A Division I state title, the first in school history.

After getting the assist on Donny Toia’s game-tying goal in the 71st minute, CDO senior star Nick Marshall scored the game-winner in the 73rd at Tucson High School.

“I don’t know what to think right now,” Marshall said. “One of the biggest games I’ve ever won. They had a great defense. We didn’t know what to expect; we haven’t heard about them.”

CDO came close to a 4A-I championship in 2007 when it lost to Rincon/University 3-2 in the title game.

Marshall’s game-winner was from 15 yards out and sailed past a diving Chip Cox, the goalkeeper for No. 5 Chaparral.

On CDO’s tying goal in the 71st minute, Marshall spun around a Chaparral defender and found Toia streaking down the center of the field, setting him up for a goal.

“It was an adrenaline rush the whole way through. We never gave up,” Toia said. “I saw Nick get the ball and he flicked it off to me. I knew that it was my time to run and I took off and I put it into the far post.”

CDO advanced to the championship after a dramatic semifinal win over Sabino on Thursday.

In that game, Marshall kept his team alive with a game-tying goal with 3.6 seconds remaining in the second overtime. He later hit the game-clinching penalty kick in the shootout win.

Chaparral, which defeated No. 1 Cave Creek Cactus Shadows in the semis, scored its only goal when Andrej Simeunovic slipped a 47-yard direct kick between the crossbar and the hand of CDO goalkeeper Ryan Retz.

“CDO is a very good team. They put a lot of pressure on us in the first half,” Chaparral coach Jason Speirs said. “I thought we played level with them after weathering the storm. They have very skilled players up top and in the midfield.”

CDO’s defense proved strong and only gave up three shots to Chaparral.

“When we were losing, I switched formations,” CDO coach Josh Marshall said. “I went to three forwards and that put a lot of pressure on them. When we possessed the ball we broke through their defense and that’s when we got our goals.”

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