Late goal lifts South Mtn. boys past Tempe

Late goal lifts South Mtn. boys past Tempe

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Late goal lifts South Mtn. boys past Tempe

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The Division II boys soccer match between Phoenix South Mountain and Tempe was shaping up to be quite a nail-biter Friday night. Fewer than 10 minutes remained in the second half and although both teams had managed some decent attempts at the net, things remained scoreless as time ticked away.

To add to the drama, a scoreboard malfunction in the 73rd minute forced the teams to play the last seven minutes without a running clock.

But South Mountain’s Angel Torres didn’t spend much time worrying about how many minutes he had left; he just wanted to make the most of them.

The freshman’s tunnel vision helped him score a late goal in the 75th minute to lift South Mountain to a 1-0 victory at Tempe High School.

The game-winning shot was one that Torres said he wasn’t immediately sure going in.

“It started off a play from the middle,” he said. “It was just a long ball, and I saw it coming, and I saw the goalie coming out, so I just placed it in. I got nervous though because I thought it was rolling out.”

Despite a scoreless first half and a second half littered with near-misses, South Mountain coach Carlos Aguilera said his team is good at keeping its cool.

“They’re in sync when they’re playing,” Aguilera said. “They’re not yelling at each other or pressuring each other, and they seem to know what to do.”

Despite losing 10 seniors last year, the third-year coach said this year’s new team, which includes eight underclassmen, is meshing well so far.

“We’re a team and we play as a family and that’s all that counts for us,” Torres said.

South Mountain’s positivity is an advantage in pressure situations like the one it faced Friday night, but Aguilera said even with his team’s good vibes, the match could have gone either way.

“It was a 50-50 match,” he said. “They are a very powerful squad. It just happened to fall into place for us. We got lucky.”

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Late goal lifts South Mtn. boys past Tempe
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