Javier Vasquez went from benchwarmer to hero on Saturday afternoon.
All in a matter of two minutes.
Coronado coach Dustin Barton summoned Vasquez from the bench at the beginning of overtime in the Class 4A Sunrise Region championship game against Eldorado at Bettye Wilson Park, and the freshman promptly responded by firing a missile into the top right corner of the net to lift the Cougars (24-2-3) to a 2-1 victory over the Sundevils (14-3-3).
Vasquez struggled to find the words to explain the meaning of the moment, so he settled on one: “Crazy.”
Coronado’s entire roster sprinted toward Vasquez and formed a dogpile near the center of the pitch. The players were awarded their trophy moments later and burst into “Ole” chants as a satisfied Barton watched a few feet away, knowing they’re back in the state tournament.
“I wanted (Vasquez) to play more defensively,” Barton said. “He just went in, struck it, goal. Brilliant goal.”
John Lynam staked Coronado to a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute, and the Sundevils finally broke through in the 76th minute with Sebastian Ramirez’s equalizer.
Vasquez checked into the game, sprinted toward the top of the goalie’s box and put the the ball in the one place Lopez couldn’t reach to clinch the region championship Coronado had eyed all season.
“We’ve tried to schedule a lot of games so we see a lot of different kinds of teams and a lot of different kinds of styles,” Barton said. “(All) to prepare for this moment.”
No one who saw it will forget Brandy Chastain’s celebration after winning the 1999 women’s World Cup. It wasn’t the World Cup, but the Sunset Region title is good enough for Alexander Daseler.
The Bishop Gorman junior forward collected the ball in the box and put top-shelf past the diving keeper two minutes into overtime Saturday to lift the Gaels boys soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Durango in the Sunset Region title game at Bettye Wilson Park.
And he ripped off his shirt and celebrated like a madman.
“Every time I score a goal, every time I do something like that, it just comes out of me,” Daseler said. “It’s second-nature for me.”
It took awhile for the action to start Saturday, and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that the first shot went on goal. Fortunately for the Gaels (20-1-4), it went in off Hayden Madsen’s foot to draw first blood.
But like Gorman, the Trailblazers (16-5-3) also capitalized on their first shot on goal. It was a free kick, yards outside the box in the 56th minute, and Jaime Munguia drilled it into the upper-left corner for the equalizer.
Each school had one shot on goal for the rest of the game, but the Gaels took advantage of theirs. Gorman sophomore defender Caden Buckley spoke with pride about his defensive unit that allowed six shots — two on goal — for the game, and none in the first half.
“We gave all our heart out there today,” Buckley said. “We’re really proud of that. We work all year just to do that in the final.”
Class 3A Southern Region
The Sunrise Mountain boys soccer team is only as good as senior Bryan Martinez is.
Good thing for the Miners that Martinez might be one of the best players in Nevada.
Martinez scored two goals in the Class 3A Southern Region title game to lead the Miners to a 3-0 win over the Tech at Bettye Wilson Park.
“Bryan Martinez is one of the best players I’ve ever seen, and he will not let his team lose,” Sunrise Mountain coach Patrick Mohrbacher said. “He’ll put this team on his back and take us as far as he wants to go.”
The Miners (16-1-0) caught a break in the first half when a yellow card was assessed in the box against the Roadrunners (12-6-4), which resulted in a penalty kick.
Martinez took the shot and drilled the back of the net to give the Miners a 1-0 lead.
“On a penalty kick, there is nothing going through my mind other than scoring and putting the ball in the back of the net,” Martinez said.
In the second half, Martinez scored his second goal at the 61-minute mark to essentially put the game away.
“It felt amazing when I hit, and I saw the goalie didn’t reach out and it went it,” Martinez said.
“All year we’ve talking about winning this and getting to Reno, and we finally pulled it off,” Mohrbacher said. “I’m so proud of these guys. They’ve put the work in, and our senior leadership has been great.”