Brophy's two OT goals send Broncos back to finals, face Desert Vista - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Brophy's two OT goals send Broncos back to finals, face Desert Vista

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:05 pm

Strangely enough, a team which has been as dominant as Brophy's boys soccer squad this season, a slew of tense moments and potential mental meltdowns led to, well, nothing.

First came a slew of possesions, ball control and a couple scoring chances the No. 1-seeded Broncos often convert. Nothing happened. Then an eventual lead was wiped away by No. 5 Tolleson even after the Wolverines lost their goalkeeper to injury.

But a heavy collection of juniors and seniors on the Brophy roster have been down these roads several times before in the past two years, notably in big-time tournament or postseason matches.

So the Broncos found another gear long enough to put two in the net in the overtime periods for a 3-1 win over Tolleson in the Division I semifinal on Thursday night at Campo Verde H.S.

Brophy will face No. 3 Desert Vista in Saturday's Division I championship at 6 p.m. at Campo Verde H.S., the Broncos' third consecutive trip to the final match. They won two years ago but fell to Hamilton last year.

Brophy and Desert Vista split a pair of matches in 2011, the last time they faced one another.

"We definitely stepped up and made something happen when we needed it," said senior forward David Lane, who assisted on one of Riggs Lennon's two goals, both of which came in the extra sessions.

In addition to his prolific number of goals in his three-year career with Brophy, Lennon has played a major role in the late dramatics the past couple years, especially in postseason play.

It happened again. In a match which played out significantly closer than the final score suggests, Ryan Grotjohn booted in a goal from 20 yards out running across the middle of the goalie box after a Tolleson turnover.

Grotjohn's a big part of Brophy's attack, but his night ended early because of an ankle injury, and he's questionable for Saturday's championship match.

A few minutes after a collision led to Tolleson's goalkeeper injury, a sliding save by Brophy goalie Phil Mourikes and a deflection on the rebound wasn't enough. The third rebound found Alexis Coss Y Leon who found the upper part of the net and it was 1-1 with 16 minutes left in regulation, where it stayed until overtime.

"You can't let any team have anything at this point," Brophy coach Marc Kelly said of Tolleson's lost goalkeeper and tying goal. "You can't stop for anything."

The final 20 minutes of regulation, however, was some theatrical soccer to soak in as both teams possessions and chances were crisp, even without any goals.

Lennon had four solid scoring chances in regulation, including a series of blistering shots from long distance which barely missed. But he finally found twine with five minutes left in the first overtime on a rebound shot off a turnover and subsequent throw-in to make it 2-1.

He found himself wide open cruising down Tolleson's end of the field and fired another left-footed rocket to make it 3-1 with five minutes left in the second overtime.

"We have depth off the bench and we can bring in fresh, talented legs in extra sessions that can wear teams down," Kelly said.

The Broncos struggled at times on offense and didn't keep the ball on the ground nearly as much as Kelly wishes. But, similar to Desert Vista in the early semifinal match, a state semifinals victory without a lot of things that impressed coaches, will make for one more tightly-contested, high-quality level of play for one more match.

"Standards have always been high here and that's a lot of pressure, and you have to act on that pressure and come through," Lane said. "These days you have to show up and bring everything you have."

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