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Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Sportsmanship trumps advancement for Mtn. View's RonanDec 6, 2012
Mountain View girls soccer coach Brian Ronan knew what his had to do to against Marcos de Niza to reach the semfinals of the Bill Vanney Tempe Diablos Soccer Tournament.
He knew the Lady Toros would need a large, double-digit triumph over the outmanned Padres. But Ronan chose to go another direction and it's one he nor anyone else should second-guess.
"It could have been all about putting the ball in the back of the net," Ronan said. "I felt this was a coaching moment. A chance to teach a life lesson. I told them how we were going to approach it. I think we left feeling like we represented our school, and were proud of how we did it."
As it turned out, Mountain View would have needed a 16-0 victory over Marcos de Niza to reach the semifinals. Marcos already had lost 10-0 and 15-0 earlier in the tournament. Last week in its first two matches of the season, Marcos lost by scores of 15-0 and 10-1. Mountain View ran off a 6-0 lead 25 minutes into their match with Marcos. The Toros resorted to ball control only the rest of the match.
As Ronan anticipated, Mountain View and Corona tied for the pool title with 2-0-1 records. Their meeting in pool play took place Monday and was a 0-0 tie (no overtime or PKs). So when it came time Wednesday night for a tie-breaker, tournament rules had head-to-head first, goals against second and goal differential third. Neither team surrendered a goal, so it came down to goal differential. In that regard Corona prevailed, 17-8. Mountain View would have nabbed the spot had it added 10 more goals to its Marcos de Niza victory. By choosing not to go for a high-goal total, Mountain View lost out on a chance at the school's first semifinal berth ever in the Diablo Tournament.
"I was a little concerned talking about our approach to the game because we have some very competitive girls on the team," Ronan said. "They didn't feel scoring a bunch was right either. We left the tournament more mature, and together as a team. I think it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets and neither does our team."
As one Mountain View parent put it: "Brian made this decision before the game and taught his girls that sportsmanship and compassion are more important than a semifinal..... "I appreciate this lesson more than the alternative."