AIA365 Staff Insiders
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Desert Vista boys soccer edges Mesa on second-half goalJan 14, 2013
There look to be very few easy matches the final two weeks of the boys soccer season for Desert Vista and Mesa High so every victory is welcome -- picturesque or otherwise.
On Monday night , Desert Vista got the chance to avenge an early-season power-ranking loss to Mesa and converted with a 1-0 triumph in a Division I match at Jackrabbit Stadium.
Desert Vista got the only goal off a corner kick in the 50th minute. Senior MacKenzie Paquette squared up a loose ball inside the penalty box seconds after the corner for the game winner. The second half was pretty much dominated by Desert Vista, but the Thunder could only come up with Paquette's goal among a half dozen or so chances.
"We're still not playing with the consistency I'd like," Desert Vista coach Mike Rabasca said. "We're a good team, but we could be so much better if we weren't so inconsistent. It was nice to get that goal early in the second half. In front of the net we're not consistent, just not clicking. We were that way early in the year, but now we're in the second half of the season."
The Thunder have played a bunch of tight matches and Monday's victory pushed them to 12-4 overall and 5-2 in power-ranking matches. Five of their seven power-ranking matrches hae been decided by one goal. They entered ranking No. 9 in the latest power-rankings.
The victory was a bounce-back after last Thursday's 2-1 loss to Corona del Sol. Desert Vista entered play this week No. 7 in D-I power-rankings. The Thunder have Casa Grande, Dobson and two matches with Chandler High left on their schedule.
Mesa High (11-4-1, 5-2-1 prm) earned a 2-1 win over Desert Vista in late November. The scoreless first half Monday was more evenly played than the second, although Desert Vista had more opportunities to score in the first 40 minutes.
"We definitely didn't play as well in the second half," Mesa coach T.J. Hagen said. "Defense has been our strength. I think we've given up less than a goal per game. I thought we played well on defense again. They only ended up with the one off the set piece. We still had a chance late only being down 1-0."
Mesa goalie Matt Winkler made a handful of nice saves in the second half while Desert Vista keeper Timothy O'Brien had little or no pressure after intermission.
Mesa's loss was its second in a power-ranking match in a week. The Jackrabbits dropped 1-0 decision to Desert Vista's Ahwatukee neighbor, Mountain Pointe. Mesa faces Red Mountain, Mountain Pointe, Westwood and Corona del Sol in its final regular-season matches. Mesa was 16th in the power-rankings prior to Monday's match.