Brophy soccer faces new tests in postseason

Brophy soccer faces new tests in postseason

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Brophy soccer faces new tests in postseason

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Not much has changed since late November, when new Phoenix Brophy Prep boys soccer coach Noah Lewkowitz was assembling a bit of a makeover from last year’s Division I championship team.

He still isn’t really sure how good this team is, as it heads into the postseason.

Top-ranked by azcentral sports, Brophy Prep (17-2) opens the state playoffs at home Tuesday night at 7 against 15-seed Chandler Basha (8-5-5).

Brophy’s greatest competition this season has come out of state, playing in tournaments in California and Florida.

“I don’t know if we know if we’re good or not,” Lewkowitz said.

Brophy has allowed only 13 goals in 19 games, but it hasn’t played top-seed Chandler Hamilton (20-1), and none of the top seven seeds in the field of 16.

Senior Adam Mosharrafa and sophomore John Rea each has 13 goals to lead Brophy, which has gotten strong play in the goal from senior Phil Mourikes, who has 13 saves in 14 games.

Brophy doesn’t have an easy road back to the final.

If it beats Basha, it could face Glendale Ironwood on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Ironwood, led by junior Stephen Church’s 21 goals, has won 19 games and is coming off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to Hamilton.

It’s not as if Lewkowitz doesn’t know anything about his team. Brophy played strong competition outside of Arizona, including facing, at the time, the No. 1 team in California, San Clemente, which beat the Broncos 1-0 in the Southern California High School Classic in late December.

“It’s not as if our team hasn’t had any competition all year,” Lewkowitz said. “It certainly has. We’ve played some teams in the state that are very good, like Mesa, Desert Vista, Tolleson and Mountain Pointe.

“We’ll do anything we can to get there, but you look at that second game, either Ironwood or Mountain Pointe, that’s tough.”

Tucson Catalina Foothills (15-3-1) is the top seed in Division II and Tucson Palo Verde (13-4-3) nabbed the No. 1 seed in Division III, after Scottsdale Coronado (11-3-1) lost to to Division II Tempe to close out the regular season.

Glendale Copper Canyon (17-2), led by defender Waldo Lopez, has allowed only four goals this season but fell to a six seed in Division II, after losing to Avondale LaJoya late in the season.

“It’s going to help us,” Copper Canyon coach Justin Bogus said. “It’s making us more focused as a team and be competitive.”

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