Desert Vista boys soccer dominates Hamilton with defense

Desert Vista boys soccer dominates Hamilton with defense

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Desert Vista boys soccer dominates Hamilton with defense

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Chandler Hamilton and Phoenix Desert Vista each came into Friday’s final of the Bill Vanney Tempe Diablos Classic with high-powered offenses and stingy defenses.

Each team had allowed just two goals in four tournament games, with Hamilton scoring 14 and Desert Vista 17, making it difficult to predict what kind of game would unfold.

In the end, defense prevailed and so did Desert Vista, taking a 1-0 victory at the Tempe Sports Complex.

“That’s the strongest group we’ve played,” Desert Vista coach Mike Rabasca said. “So to get a shutout is positive for us.”

It was apparent Friday that both teams were determined to win the possession game, so mistakes were limited and legitimate scoring chances rare.

Hamilton appeared to have the advantage early, but couldn’t cash in on its few opportunities around the net. Desert Vista was able to do more with less, as it converted the only goal of the night in the 29th minute of the first half.

Sophomore midfielder Tate Schmidt’s corner kick fell into traffic in front of the Hamilton goal, where it ultimately found the right foot of senior forward Josh Greene, who punched it in.

“For the first time in a long time, we have been concentrating on set pieces,” Rabasca said. “We came in with a game plan on our set pieces, and I’m really, really pleased that the players followed that game plan in the first half, and it paid off with that goal.”

With Hamilton looking for the equalizer in the second half, things got physical. Play was stopped several times because of fouls on both sides, and a Hamilton player was issued a red card and ejected near the 30-minute mark.

Hamilton abandoned its conservative play and tried to create chances, but Desert Vista’s defense rebuffed it each time. With around eight minutes left to play, Desert Vista began to play keep-away, launching the ball down the field whenever possible to allow precious seconds to tick off.

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