Any hopes the No. 1 ranked Douglas Bulldogs had of winning their second state championship in 10-years, came to a disappointing end, Saturday, in a 2-1 overtime loss to the fourth ranked Arcadia Titans in the 4A state semifinals that was played at Marana Mountain View High School.
Arcadia now advances to the state finals where they will face Washington High School out of Phoenix, 6-0 winners over Lake Havasu Saturday.
All season long, the Bulldogs have been dogged by missed scoring opportunities. That was the case again, Saturday, as Douglas missed a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half, which led to a 0-0 tie at the intermission.
Arcadia scored midway through the second half, taking a 1-0 lead.
Late in the match, Miguel Sosa managed to get a penalty kick past the Arcadia goalie, tying the match at 1.
With time winding down and the score still tied at 1, Joaquin Escalante had a breakaway and a one-on-one shot at the Arcadia goal. His shot was just off the mark, however, and the match instead moved to overtime.
In overtime, Arcadia scored taking a 2-1 lead, hanging on for the win while snapping the Bulldogs 14-match winning streak
Douglas coaches have the Bulldogs outshooting the Titans 9-4. Goalie Jose Loreto had two saves.
“We did not capitalize today when we had the opportunity,” Douglas’ coach Alfonso Romero said after the loss. “If we would have done that the first half we would have been up, maybe 2-0. At the end of the match we had another clear opportunity to score and win the match and we just missed the opportunity.”
The coach said this was a tough way to end the season.
“There’s really nothing you can say to them, nothing you can do” he said of his players. “One of the things we told them was that we’re really, really proud of them and the effort they gave us all year. We were No. 1 in the state for most of the season and went undefeated in regular season play. The seniors that we’re losing, I tip my hat to them because they gave it everything they had until the last minute.”
The coach added the seniors are heart broken while the underclassmen know they will have another opportunity to build on this next year.
The coach said he wanted to thank his assistant coaches for all the hard work they put in this season and also the community, who has shown his players a lot of love and support.
“We were so close,” Coach Romero said. “We were the better team today. We just were not able to capitalize when we had the opportunity.”
All region honors are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Expect some player, and possibly coach of the year honors to be announced.