Danny Baca was left alone.
Sports / VarsityXtra
After an unforgettable loss in last year’s playoffs, the North Canyon Rattlers (16-3) redeemed themselves Saturday night by upending the Campo Verde Coyotes (25-1), 3-1, to take home the 5A boys state title and their first title in program history.
After losing in last year’s final, the Gilbert High School Tigers (16-2-2) are AIA 6A boys’ soccer state champions, after beating Tolleson High School (21-1) 1-0 at Campo Verde High School, despite having just 10 players the entire second half.
The expectations were set high for this quarterfinals matchup as a team who had won 18 straight, traveled to take on one of the highest ranked teams in the state.
Tempers flared, cards were dealt and the crowd was vocal at Gilbert High on Saturday as second-seeded Gilbert boys soccer narrowly defeated No. 10 Mesa, 1-0.
The volatility of the soccer postseason showed up Wednesday night as a handful of upsets shook up the 6A Conference playoff landscape.
It was shaping up as one of those playoff soccer matches that make it one of the best and unpredictable postseasons in high school sports.
Sasha Hunter knew entering Tuesday's 6A state first-round contest what to expect from unbeaten Tolleson.
The Reach 11 Sports Complex has hosted elite level soccer tournaments ever since the North Phoenix facility was built in the early 2000s.
Nestled in to the base of the San Tan Mountains lies Casteel High School, the newest member to an expanding Chandler Unified School District.
For two years, Josh Drack watched the Hamilton soccer program from afar despite roaming the halls of the school.
For the better part of 80 minutes, it looked as though Hamilton would maintain a lone star above its team crest.
Hamilton coach Nick Markette can see just about when his program began to turn from good to elite, when the dial was turned up and the Huskies began to become a preeminent boys soccer power.