An hour into a scoreless tie, Josh Cormier felt compelled to lift his team on his shoulders.
With two goals in a nine-minute stretch, that’s exactly what the Eldorado senior forward did Thursday night.
Cormier scored unassisted in the 62nd and 71st minutes to lead the Sundevils to a tense 2-0 win over Chaparral in the Sunrise Region semifinals at the Bettye Wilson Soccer Complex.
“There was a lot of anger at halftime,” Cormier said. “A lot of people were stressing. We needed something to bring us up.
“As the captain, I had to lead my team to victory. I knew I had a job to do.”
He did the job well, pumping his fist and being mobbed by teammates after scoring on a header in the 62nd minute to break the tie.
The Sundevils added an additional forward in the second half to combat double teaming of Cormier, who has overcome nagging muscle pull injuries this season.
“If he had a full season, he would have had twice as many goals,” Eldorado coach Gerald Pentsil said. “What you saw tonight is the way he can be.”
Senior goalkeeper Alberto Alvarez had seven saves in the shutout for the Sundevils (13-1-5).
Chaparral (6-7-3), which was coming off a 2-1 upset of Southeast League champion Tech on Tuesday, was outshot 14-4.
Eldorado will face Las Vegas in a showdown pitting the Northeast League’s top two seeds at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Both times the teams met during the regular season resulted in 1-1 ties.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Cormier said. “We’re pretty much equal. Overall, I think it’ll be a great competition.”
Las Vegas 2, Green Valley 1 — The Wildcats dominated time of possession until allowing a goal in the final 10 minutes and held on to win the Sunrise Region semifinal.
Joaquin Rivas and Jaime Toscano scored for Las Vegas (13-0-3), which is one win from reaching state for the second time in three years.
“I think it should have been four or five (goals) at halftime,” Las Vegas coach Vince Hart said. “We missed some simple chances that we don’t usually miss.”
The Wildcats narrowly missed at least four shots in the first half, including one off the right post.
“We should have been up way more,” Toscano said. “We have to take advantage of every opportunity. We really played well in the beginning, but then our tempo went down.”
Hart chalked up the 1-0 halftime lead to “a little bit of overconfidence.”
“We got into a mood that we don’t get into,” he said. “We need to be sharp and aggressive and pass quickly, and for some reason, we stopped passing the ball. For some reason we held it and played long balls, which are not our game.”
Danny Sanchez had an assist for Las Vegas.
Alejandro Pacheco scored on an assist from Alex Chun for Green Valley (11-4-3).
“If we played with the intensity we played with in the last 20 minutes,” Green Valley coach Roy Snyder said, “anything could have happened.”