In the back of his mind, Doug Borgel expected the ball to ricochet off the crossbar.
The Bishop Gorman boys soccer coach had witnessed his team throw everything it had at Durango in the Sunset Region final at Heritage Park on Saturday. And the Gaels didn’t score.
Finally, Austin Moore beat Durango goalkeeper Andres Caldera to a ball at the top of the box and sent a high bouncer over Caldera toward the goal.
The ball seemed to move in slow motion before ducking under the bar and into the net midway through the second half for the only tally in Gorman’s 1-0 victory.
“We were waiting for it to hit the crossbar,” Borgel said. “It has been one of those years. It doesn’t matter who we’ve played, we’ve struggled scoring goals.”
Gorman (12-2-2) advanced to the state tournament, which begins Friday. Durango (13-4-3) will meet Eldorado in a state play-in at 4 p.m. Monday at Faith Lutheran.
Gorman outshot the Trailblazers 28-6, including a 13-1 edge in the second half.
But the Gaels hit the fence behind the goal time after time, and when they put shots on goal, Caldera was sharp. The Durango keeper made 12 saves.
“Finishing has been an issue for all season,” Borgel said. “We put pressure on them, and that was what we wanted to do.”
Gorman finally got on the board in the 60th minute when Lance Peters fired a pass from beyond midfield. Moore and Caldera scrambled after the ball, and Caldera went down in an attempt to trap it, but Moore won the race.
“I just tried to stay onside,” Moore said. “I was hoping it would drop. It was a good feeling when it did.”
Gorman won its eighth region crown and its first since 2009. Durango was bidding for its first title since 2000.
“We don’t take anything for granted,” Borgel said. “It’s a testament to our kids. We’ve gone through it a lot of times where we’ve lost on the last kick of the season.”
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at email@example.com or 702-387-5230.In-depth high school sports coverage