Glendale rallied from behind Friday night on the road, overcoming a one-goal deficit to defeat Paradise Valley 2-1 and keep its playoff hopes alive.
After falling behind 1-0 midway through the first half, Glendale switched up its formation at halftime, and it paid off. Glendale stole all the momentum after the break, scoring two unanswered goals to win the match.
Glendale tallied the majority of scoring chances in the first half, but it was Paradise Valley that got on the scoreboard first when junior forward Ricky Garcia received a switch pass and played the ball off the outside of his right foot past the outstretched arms of the Glendale goalie.
Glendale coach Gary Chavez said the through ball was Paradise Valley’s only offensive tactic though, something that Glendale could work around.
“They weren’t trying to possess it in the center, they were just trying to play boomball,” Chavez said. “We noticed that every time they got the ball they were just going for the through ball so we switched to a 4-3-3. We put a stopper, a defensive mid in front of our four to stop the through ball.”
But it wasn’t a coaching maneuver that led to Glendale’s first goal. Rather, it was a fortuitous bounce.
“(The P.V. goalie) didn’t want to collide with the forward so much, and I think he slowed down a little bit, just slipped on his foot and then just fell down and the ball kind of rolled past and Glendale was able to finish that one off,” Paradise Valley coach Brett Bowman said.
The second goal was far from lucky. With 14 minutes remaining and the score tied, Glendale senior striker Angel Holguin danced around a pair of Paradise Valley defenders and fired a rocket from just past the 18. As good as Paradise Valley junior goalkeeper Yonnick Poyda had been Friday, he wasn’t stopping that shot.
All momentum had shifted to Glendale. But despite a few more Paradise Valley opportunities, the score would hold.
Both coaches said the game had playoff implications in Division II, as Paradise Valley (7-2-1) and Glendale (13-3) are fighting to squeak into the postseason.
With just two games remaining for both squads, it’s possible Glendale could edge Paradise Valley because of Friday’s win.