No one who saw it will ever forget Brandy Chastain’s celebration after winning the 1999 women’s World Cup. It wasn’t the World Cup, but the Sunset Region title is good enough for Alexander Daseler.
The Bishop Gorman junior forward collected the ball in the box and fired top-shelf past the diving keeper two minutes into overtime Saturday to lift the Gaels’ boys soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Durango in the Sunset Region title game at Bettye Wilson Park.
And he ripped off his shirt and celebrated like a madman.
“Every time I score a goal, every time I do something like that, it just comes out of me,” Daseler said. “It’s second-nature for me.”
It is the eighth region title in school history, and first since 2012.
It took awhile for the action to start Saturday, and it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that the first shot went on goal. Fortunately for the Gaels (20-1-4), it went in to draw first blood.
Corrigan Neville took the corner kick from the Durango keeper’s left, and rolled the ball toward the huddled mass in front of the net. Midfielder James Brooks looked like he was going to shoot, but instead let it go between his legs. The distraction allowed a clean look for Hayden Madsen, who put the Gaels up 1-0.
But like Gorman, the Trailblazers (16-5-3) also capitalized on their first shot on goal. It was a free kick, a few yards outside the box in the 56th minute, and Jaime Munguia drilled it into the upper-left corner for the equalizer.
Each school had one more shot on goal for the rest of the game, but the Gaels took advantage of theirs. Gorman sophomore defender Caden Buckley spoke with pride about his defensive unit that allowed six shots — two on goal — for the game, and none in the first half.
“We gave all our heart out there today,” Buckley said. “We’re really proud of that. We work all year just to do that in the final.
Gorman will play Wooster in the first round of the state tournament at 2 p.m. Friday at North Valleys in Reno. The Gaels will be in search of their sixth state championship and first since 2012.
“Almost there,” Daseler said. “The dream is almost complete, but it’s a dream come true today, and I’ll focus on that.”