Palo Verde senior defender Justin Geracci had been practicing his penalty kicks before Saturday’s Southern League soccer title game.
Geracci said he was feeling confident in his shot and thought he could score if he had to take a penalty shot.
Geracci scored on a penalty kick and added another goal in the Panthers’ 4-3 win over Coronado to win the league title. For his efforts, he was named the Nevada Preps boys athlete of the week.
“As soon as we started off strong and scored a few goals, we got comfortable,” Geracci said. “I think we played one of our best games the whole season.”
Let’s get to know this week’s boys athlete of the week. (Note: Answers have been edited for clarity and length.)
Nevada Preps: You said the team played its best game of the season. How important is that with the state tournament beginning Friday?
Geracci: At the beginning of the season, we weren’t playing our best. We just kept saying that we need to peak during the playoffs and get to our best form there. The whole year we just kept getting better and better.
NP: What’s your favorite moment in your soccer career?
Geracci: It was actually winning the state championship two years ago as a sophomore. We were a more dominant team then with great skill, but we didn’t have the chemistry and teamwork like we had this year.
NP: If you weren’t playing soccer, what sport would you be playing?
Geracci: I would play tennis. Both my parents played it, and I played it at a young age. I’m pretty good at it, and I would like to try an individual sport.
NP: As a senior, what would it mean to end your career with a state championship?
Geracci: It would be a really good moment. I’d remember it for the rest of my life.