Boys soccer: Desert View 2, Nogales 1: Jaguars virtually lock up tournament berth

2013-01-25T00:00:00Z Boys soccer: Desert View 2, Nogales 1: Jaguars virtually lock up tournament berthAndrew Cockrum Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Only one team was going to come away with a playoff spot in the regular-season finale Thursday night.

With a Division I state tournament berth on the line, 17th-ranked Desert View (9-1-2) came through with a 2-1 victory over Nogales, almost certainly locking up a playoff spot.

"This team has been working very hard for three years, it's a senior-laden team," said David Hunter, who is in his 25th year of coaching the Jaguars.

The loss for the No. 15 Apaches (8-3-1) likely eliminated them from qualifying for the Division II state tournament.

"This is a very young team," Nogales coach Peter Lella said. "They came out and tried and gave their best."

The brackets for next week's state soccer tournaments will be announced today at 2 p.m.

Desert View struck first in the game when Ramiro Romo sent a shot to the back of the net in the 28th minute.

Eleven minutes later, Carlos Peña added to the Jaguars lead when he outmaneuvered Nogales keeper Gabriel Origel to find an open net for a score.

Down 2-0, the Apaches came out aggressively to start the second half. They nearly scored their first goal of the game in the opening minute when J.C. Bautista's kick went inches outside of the post.

Nogales finally found the back of the net in the 55th minute when Jaime Javalera scored on a breakaway to bring the Apaches within one.

With only a few seconds remaining, Nogales' Robert Gorman fired a pass from the sidelines toward the goal in hopes of finding a teammate to tie the score, but Desert View keeper Francisco Soto grabbed the ball out of the air and ended the Apaches' playoff hopes.

Both teams were in the same playoff positions last season, when the Desert View lost 3-1 at Nogales sending the Apaches to state and the Jaguars home.

"It's an awesome experience, and I'm glad I got to do it with all these wonderful players," said Soto, about helping his team to reach the playoffs this season.

The boys state tournament starts Wednesday with the higher seeds hosting the first-round matches.

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