This time there were no red cards.
Friday night’s Division I boys soccer match pitting Glendale Ironwood and host Phoenix Maryvale was stopped well short of repeating last season’s game, which saw 14 yellow cards and five red cards.
Head official Miguel Carmona called Friday night’s game with 3:36 left in the first half after a player from each team commenced a shoving match that spread to most of the players on the field. Maryvale’s bench also cleared onto the field.
No punches were thrown, and the incident lasted less than a minute and didn’t escalate, but it was enough for Carmona to call the match.
Ironwood led 2-0, but Carmona told Ironwood coach Tim Beck and Maryvale coach Abel Hoyos that he could not declare a winner and that he will send his report to the Arizona Interscholastic Association and let the high school sports governing body take it from there.
Two yellow cards were handed out in the game, one to a Maryvale defender in the 12th minute, and the other to an Ironwood midfielder for the foul that provoked the shoving incident that caused the early end to the game.
Both sides said they have video evidence of who and what really caused the near fight.
“I think it was a good decision from the ref, honestly,” Hoyos said. “I think it was a good decision to stop the game and let (the Arizona Interscholastic Association) decide what will happen. They (the match officials) have the authority, and they have the decision. If they decide it’s a regular situation and let the game go on, then I’m going with them. Their job is to protect the kids.”
Hoyos added that it was an Ironwood player who started the incident and caused his players to react.
Beck said one of his players was scratched on the neck and wondered why his team was being punished since it was Maryvale’s bench that cleared and not his.
“It’s unfortunate,” Beck said. “I thought it was a good game. They have a good squad. I think we kind of assumed control and scored a couple of nice goals, and I think we should be playing this thing out.”
Stephen Church scored in the 23rd minute and Michael McKinley made it 2-0 with a 22-yard laser five minutes later.
But since a winner was not declared, Ironwood and Maryvale won’t gain any power points, something both needed to help secure qualification for the 16-team Division I tournament, which begins Jan. 30. Both teams have just one game left. Ironwood (9-1 in power-point matches) went into Friday’s match No.13 in the power rankings. Maryvale (5-4-3) is ranked 23rd.