The members of the Faith Lutheran girls soccer team were posing for a photograph Wednesday when a few of the players put up their index finger.
“Put your fingers down,” someone yelled out. “We haven’t won anything yet.”
Kristi Chinn scored two goals four minutes apart in the second half as the Crusaders rallied for a 3-2 victory over Tech in a Division I-A Southern Region semifinal at Heritage Park.
As a result, Faith Lutheran (16-4-1) will have its chance to win something Saturday when it meets defending state champion Pahrump Valley (16-0-2) in the title game. Both teams advance to the state tournament.
“They had the resolve to keep fighting and keep working,” Crusaders coach Steve Morrill said. “We know we’re talented, but it’s about putting that ability into action and taking care of it. They showed that in the second half.”
Dani Tharaldson added a goal and an assist for Faith Lutheran, and she combined with Chinn for the winner in the 59th minute. Chinn’s left-footed shot from about 15 yards away appeared to deflect off a Tech defender and floated over goalkeeper Elena Duenas’ outstretched arms.
“They’ve been working well together the last two years,” Morrill said. “They both have strengths that offset each other.”
Alex Guzman scored on a penalty kick in the fourth minute, and Abrana Wielgosiak tapped home Guzman’s cross from the right wing to give the Roadrunners a 2-1 advantage in the 50th minute.
Tech (15-4-1) controlled play for the first 15 minutes of the second half and created two other good scoring chances, but Faith Lutheran equalized in the 55th minute as Chinn got on the end of a long ball from Emily Neighbors and tapped it past Duenas, who made 11 saves.
The Roadrunners, who were without two starters when they lost 9-2 to Faith Lutheran on Sept. 27, went ahead in the fourth minute as Guzman converted a penalty kick.
The Crusaders answered in the 14th minute as Chinn’s one-touch pass sent in Tharaldson, and the senior notched her team-best 29th goal.
■ Pahrump Valley 3, Cheyenne 0 — Sydney Sladek scored two goals, and the Trojans blanked the Desert Shields.
Sladek, the state’s all-time leading scorer who is expected to sign a letter of intent with Southern California next week, scored on a free kick from 25 yards out in the 30th minute and scored off a feed from Paige Chafee in the 33rd minute.
Chafee added a goal in the 42nd minute.
The Trojans’ back line, led by central defenders Alexis Smith and Alyssa Turner, silenced Cheyenne leading scorer Lesly Rodriguez.
Freshman Arika Carey had 11 saves for the Desert Shields (14-4), including a stop on Gabriella Vasquez after Sladek teed her up from point-blank range.
Bishop Gorman coach Doug Borgel figured his team would need three goals to ensure a victory.
His prediction turned out to be perfectly accurate.
Kaila Brinkman scored on a free kick with 10 minutes remaining, and the Gaels hung on to beat Bonanza 3-2 in a Sunset Region semifinal at Heritage Park.
The win lifted Gorman (15-0) into the championship game, where the Gaels will play Arbor View (13-1-4) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We all talked after the game about how big that goal was,” Borgel said. “Kaila has been money on that shot all season.”
Gorman controlled the pace in the first half but failed to capitalize on early opportunities when two open shots caromed off the crossbar. Brinkman scored from 10 yards out on an assist from Daisy Cabrera in the 26th minute to give the Gaels the 1-0 lead they took into halftime.
Cabrera extended Gorman’s lead to 2-0 early in the second half, firing into an open net from close range.
The Bengals (8-5-2) answered 11 minutes later when Jessica Piazza fired one in from the left side.
“We didn’t finish them off,” Borgel said. “We sort of left them in the game. A two-goal lead is dangerous. We worked to get that third goal, but they kept pressing.”
The Gaels went up 3-1 when Brinkman was awarded a free kick and converted it with 10 minutes remaining.
It was barely enough, as Ashley Alonzo-Bonilla scored from 20 yards out with three minutes remaining. A flurry of desperation attempts by Bonanza failed to produce a goal in the final minutes.
■ Arbor View 4, Shadow Ridge 0 — Vanessa Lourenco scored two goals to help the Aggies roll past the Mustangs (9-8-3).
Lourenco gave Arbor View a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute when she scored from the left side on a shot that was tipped by Shadow Ridge goalkeeper Dallas Gunny. Breanna Larkin extended the lead to 2-0 when she lobbed a 35-yard shot just over Gunny’s outstretched hands.
The Aggies missed on several opportunities in the second half before getting goals from Bailee Davis and Lourenco.
Goalkeeper Kylee Wallace earned the shutout.
Green Valley had shown plenty of potency in its previous five matches.
The Gators entered Wednesday’s Sunrise Region final at Heritage Park having outscored their opposition 17-4 in the past five games and were fresh off a 5-0 victory in Monday’s quarterfinals.
But for 26 minutes Wednesday, the Gators couldn’t find the net against Silverado.
That changed quickly. Green Valley scored three times in a five-minute span and went on to beat the Skyhawks 4-1. The Gators (14-2-5) will face Coronado (14-1-4) in the region final at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“I’m so proud of my girls for coming out from the start just ready to play,” Green Valley coach Catherine Davis said. “They played their hearts out. That was some of the best soccer we’ve played all year, especially our underclassmen who rose to the occasion.”
Alexis Kirson got the Gators started in the 27th minute, firing in a shot from 15 yards out. Jessica Messer put in the next goal on a header, which stemmed from Victoria Whitehouse’s corner kick.
Kayla Anderson added the last goal before the half with a shot that deflected off a Silverado player but found its way in. Whitehouse extended the Gators’ lead to 4-0 two minutes into the second half.
Silverado (10-5-3) scored on a corner kick in the 52nd minute. Krista Lee converted Danielle Parven’s pass for the Skyhawks’ lone goal.
■ Coronado 4, Eldorado 1 — Michaela Morris and Taylor Houston each had a goal and an assist as the Cougars dominated the Sundevils.
Taylor Kornieck and Kasey Ficklin each scored within the first six minutes to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. Houston then extended the lead to 3-0 after 20 minutes.
The Sundevils (14-4-2) trimmed their deficit to 3-1 just before the half on Darianna Mayoral-Osuna’s goal.
Morris’ last-minute goal sealed the victory for Coronado.