Pinnacle ran into a buzz saw in the second half of its 4A Division I semifinal. A goal in the second minute of the second half seemed to take all the wind out of the Pioneers’ sails in a 5-0 loss Tuesday night to No. 2 seed Tucson Catalina Foothills in the state boys’ soccer tournament at Tempe Sports Complex.
“I think Catalina’s experience at being in these situations, that was the main thing,” Pinnacle coach Brock Heykoop said. “They just knew what they needed to do to finish.”
Ernie Meija scored twice for the Falcons, who will meet fellow southern Arizona school Tucson Sabino on Friday night in the state final at Arizona State University.
“Probably the most technical team we saw all year,” Heykoop said of the Falcons (17-5-2). “We just needed to counter.”
Meija got the Falcons on the board in the 15th minute with a powerful 15-yard goal past Pioneer goalkeeper Conner Redd. But the backbreaker may have been John Moore’s header in the second minute of the second half.
Nick Knuth had a throw-in from the sideline that Ashton Kent headed to Moore who got it just past Redd’s outstretched hands.
Kelsey Banfield’s wild 20-yard shot found the upper corner of the net in the first minute of overtime in Pinnacle’s 3-1 victory over Glendale Cactus in the semifinals of the 4A-I girls soccer tournament at the Tempe Sports Complex.
The Pioneers (17-5-1) will face Tucson Catalina Foothills at 5 p.m. Saturday at Arizona State University in the championship match.
“I was in the moment,” Banfield said. “I just wanted to win so bad it just happened.”
Banfield appeared to be trying to dump the ball in for one of other Pioneer attackers, not actually shooting at the net. But the ball was out of the reach of Cactus (18-4) goalkeeper Ashley Baratko and broke the 1-1 tie from early in the second half.
Then, two minutes after Banfield’s shot, Chloe Hansen got a pass off to Anna Clark with Baratko out of position and Clark fired it home from 12 yards away.