Boys soccer: Cortez beats Palo Verde for chance to repeat

Boys soccer: Cortez beats Palo Verde for chance to repeat

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Boys soccer: Cortez beats Palo Verde for chance to repeat

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As a sophomore in his first year at Phoenix Cortez, Roberto Valenzuela could see great things coming for the Cortez soccer program.

Now a senior, Valenzuela is heading to his second consecutive Division III boys soccer championship match after his two goals helped defending state champion and third-seeded Cortez to a 4-0 victory over seventh-seeded Tucson Palo Verde in semifinal-round play at Phoenix Arcadia High School.

Cortez (17-2-1) will face Scottsdale Coronado in the title game Friday night at 7 at Gilbert’s Campo Verde High.

“My sophomore year we got to the semifinals (a loss to Scottsdale Notre Dame in Class 4A Division II),” Valenzuela said. “Then we just kept working, and we’ve made it to the finals now twice. And it feels great.”

Valenzuela’s first goal came in the game’s 50th minute after a feed from Zaid Moreno finally gave Cortez some breathing room and a 2-0 lead. He scored again six minutes later.

Palo Verde (14-7) had played Cortez on an even basis through half the game with Juan Mora’s goal, a 22-foot blast from the middle of of the field, beat Palo Verde goalkeeper Johnny Ramirez for the first goal of the game in the 26th minute.

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Boys soccer: Cortez beats Palo Verde for chance to repeat
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