Many high school soccer coaches hate to see a game decided by penalty kicks.
Del Sol’s John Britt thinks it’s the perfect way to finish.
The Dragons eliminated two-time defending state champion Las Vegas 3-1 on penalty kicks in the Sunrise Region quarterfinals Tuesday at Bettye Wilson Park.
“We’ve been practicing that many, many times,” Britt said. “And I said many, many times, what a perfect situation to be in. And when it happened, I just started smiling. It was meant to be.”
The teams were tied 1-1 through regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods, but the shootout belonged to Del Sol.
Ricardo Flores, Jose Osorio and Roberto Perez each nailed a penalty kick for the Dragons (12-4-2), but Las Vegas was far less efficient.
The Wildcats (7-4-7) missed three of their four attempts, and Del Sol goalkeeper Gerardo Mendoza didn’t lay a finger on any of them.
Las Vegas had one shot hit the right post, one hit the crossbar and one sail over the crossbar.
“To beat the two-time state champions, I’m getting goose bumps right now,” Britt said. “I hope I don’t start crying.”
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead at the half when Osorio tapped home a goal after Perez’s shot went off the post.
Las Vegas pushed the pace in the second half and controlled the ball for much of the half but missed on many opportunities. The Wildcats finally tied the game when Gilberto Franco-Martinez found Estevan Benavides inside the box and Benavides put his shot inside the right post with 16 minutes left in the half.
“There were times that we were in trouble, but my kids stuck together,” Britt said. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year.”
Del Sol plays Silverado in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Thursday. Desert Pines plays Tech in the other semifinal at 6.
■ Silverado 2, Valley 1 — Chase Leaders scored twice as the Skyhawks (8-4-4) eliminated the Northeast League champion Vikings (10-2-6).
Both goals came on assists from Devin Diego.
Leaders scored in the eighth minute, then scored in the fourth minute of the second half to give the Skyhawks a 2-0 advantage.
Valley’s Tony Velasquez scored on a penalty kick with about 15 minutes to play to cut the lead in half. But the Skyhawks, the Southeast League’s No. 4 seed, were able to hold on.
“We don’t see ourselves as a (No.) 4 seed,” Silverado coach John Cwik said. “We had a bad second half (of league), there’s no doubt about it. But we were tied for first place at the turn. So we know what we’re capable of doing.
“And in a tournament, anybody can get hot.”
■ Desert Pines 1, Coronado 0 — Gerardo Romero scored off a corner kick in the 14th minute of overtime to lift the Jaguars (12-3-3) over the Cougars (12-2-7).
Desert Pines goalkeeper Angel Guzman had five saves for the shutout.
■ Tech 2, Eldorado 1 — Jesus Herrera scored a pair of second-half goals as the Southeast League champion Roadrunners (14-1-4) rallied to down the Sundevils (9-9-1).
Herrera’s shot from 25 yards hit the bottom of the crossbar and went into the net with 19 minutes left to tie the game.
Then with six minutes to play, Herrera redirected a ball from Salvador Garcia past the goalkeeper for the winner.
Eldorado’s Jesse Marta scored with nine minutes to play in the first half to give the Sundevils an early lead.
Daniel Hernandez and Sergio Rodriguez scored in the first 15 minutes of the second half and Bonanza held on for a 2-1 victory over Cimarron-Memorial in a Sunset Region quarterfinal at Bettye Wilson Park.
“I think it was the nerves of a playoff game,” Bengals coach Tom Rainey said of the scoreless first half. “They played decent in the first half, but in the second they stepped up and started playing the way we should be playing.”
Robert Sagel assisted on both the goals. The sophomore forward found Hernandez open in the middle of the field for the goal to give Bonanza (17-2-0) the lead for good.
“Robert gave a good ball and I put it in the back of the net. We had a good play,” Hernandez said.
Rodriguez scored less than 10 minutes later, taking a pass from Sagel and shooting the ball off the bottom of the right post and into the net.
Sophomore forward Gerardo Zacarias scored with about 20 minutes left to pull Cimarron to within 2-1, but the Spartans (9-6-4) couldn’t recover from Bonanza’s surge early in the second half.
Rainey said Hernandez’s go-ahead goal was crucial in setting the tone.
“We had an open ball right through the middle, everything you plan for on paper,” Rainey said. “It just worked out perfectly for us. That was a huge goal; it lifted a lot of pressure off our team.”
Bonanza, the No. 2 seed from the Southwest League, advanced to face Northwest champion Legacy in a semifinal Thursday.
In other Sunset quarterfinals:
■ Palo Verde 2, Western 0 — Matej Kustura scored in the 58th minute to give the Panthers the lead for good and Alexander Shackley scored on an assist from Julian Portugal in the 77th minute to help the Panthers eliminate the Warriors.
Panthers senior goalkeeper Colton McCann made eight saves in the shutout.
Palo Verde (13-1-3), the No. 2 seed from the Northwest, advanced to face Southwest champion Bishop Gorman in a semifinal Thursday.
Western finished 12-5-0.
■ Bishop Gorman 1, Arbor View 0 — Michael Gray scored on a header off an assist from Rian McEvoy in the 26th minute and the Gaels (16-0-1) held on to eliminate the Aggies (10-3-8).
Gorman goalkeeper Thomas Olsen posted a three-save shutout in a physical game in which the teams combined for nine yellow cards.
■ Legacy 2, Spring Valley 0 — Stefan Skrinjaric and Saul Aguirre scored in the second half to lift the Longhorns (16-1-1) past the Grizzlies (12-6-1).
Aguirre and Ramon Carvajal assisted on the goals. Legacy’s Carvajal recorded two saves in the shutout.In-depth high school sports coverage