With her team down by one goal and less than 10 minutes left in the game, Jasmine Simmons scored twice to help Sahuaro to a come-from-behind victory, 2-1 at Sabino on Thursday night.
"We have been telling the girls just to believe and to never lose faith regardless if you are down a goal," said Cougars coach David Kruszewski.
After a scoreless first half that was quiet enough to hear coyotes howling in the distance, the Sabercats struck first in the 46th minute. Alysa Welker scored off a header to the corner of the net to give Sabino a 1-0 advantage.
Sahuaro had plenty of chances to tie the score but could not come through. Simmons came close in the 54th minute with an open net, but her kick hit the left crossbar.
The junior forward finally found the back of the net in the 74th minute off an assist from Allison Raniere to tie the game.
"I know she was getting a little frustrated putting one off the post," Kruszewski said. "There is only so many chances you can give a player before she is going to finally put one in."
The final goal came with a minute left. Simmons went on a breakaway down the field and was able to elude Sabino keeper Sylvanna Islas to find an open net.
"I knew if I put high pressure on her, I was going to get past her and get a look at the back of the net," Simmons said.
The win for Sahuaro (11-7-1) was not only important with Sabino (12-6) being its rival, but also because of playoff implications. Sahuaro entered the game ranked sixth in Division II. The Sabertcats came in seeded No. 12 in D-II.
"I think my team played with a lot of heart coming into a rivalry game knowing that Sahuaro is another excellent opponent," said Sabino coach Brenda Lowery.