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BOYS STATE: Keith comes through twice on PKs to lift Gaels over Eldorado

Sean Keith enjoys the pressure of taking penalty kicks.

Bishop Gorman’s junior midfielder made the most of his two chances Friday.

Keith scored on penalty kicks in the 36th and 60th minutes to propel the Gaels to a 3-1 victory over Eldorado in a Division I state semifinal at Heritage Park.

“I just felt confident. I usually like taking those,” Keith said. “I felt like, ‘It’s been three years on this team,’ and I felt like it was my time to show these guys that I want to win this.”

Gorman (13-2-2) advanced to meet Green Valley (14-4-3) in the state final at 10 a.m. today at Heritage Park.

Keith sent his first penalty kick into the right side of the net, then went the opposite direction for his second goal.

“I favored that one side the first one. I always go there,” Keith said. “When the second one came up, I just had a feeling he was going to go the same way I went. I just put it to the opposite side, and luckily it went in.”

Gorman coach Doug Borgel called Keith’s efforts “big time.”

“I don’t call out who’s taking PKs,” Borgel said. “These guys know who steps up and who wants to take it, and no hesitation, (Keith) stepped up to the first one.

“I sort of thought maybe somebody different for the second one because they might know which way (Keith) is going, but the kid was clutch. He goes a different way and tucks it away.”

Gorman took a 2-0 lead when Rian McEvoy scored on a header off a throw-in from Lance Peters in the 47th minute.

“It was fantastic,” Borgel said. “We kind of work on those long throws and getting (McEvoy) to balls like that, and he’s been there all year. He’s fantastic in the air, and it was a big goal for us.”

Andres Lua scored in the 52nd minute to bring Eldorado (16-5-1) within 2-1, but the Sundevils were unable to find the equalizer.

“I’m proud of them. They gave it their all,” Eldorado coach Gerald Pentsil said.

Green Valley 1, Carson 0 — Ivan Rodriguez scored on an assist from Bryan Baugh in the 58th minute, and the Gators held on to eliminate the Senators.

“It was nice to see (Baugh) play (Rodriguez) that great a ball, and it was a great finish and a great effort,” Green Valley coach Jacob Rivera.

Victor Marquez made the goal stand up with eight saves for Green Valley.

“I love their perseverance and their grit, and I hope they’re ready to play tomorrow,” Rivera said. “They have a chance to accomplish something special.”

DIVISION I-A

Tech 1, Truckee 0 — In a season that has been filled with firsts for Tech’s boys soccer team, midfielder Julio Del Real wasn’t going to let an opportunity to play in his school’s first state final slip away.

Del Real scored in the 75th minute of to propel the Roadrunners (22-0) over Truckee in the semifinals.

Tech, which wrapped up its first region title last week, will look to place the finishing touches on a perfect season as it battles Sparks (14-1) at 10 a.m. today.

“It feels great,” Del Real said. “We worked all summer for this, and we’re ready for tomorrow.”

Junior defender Hugo Flores located Del Real inside the right corner of the box. Slipping past a Wolverine defender, Del Real ripped a shot into the right corner of the net, past the dive of Truckee goalkeeper Diaz Ignacio.

“We started passing the ball more and just touching the ball,” Tech coach Josh Jones said of the second-half adjustments. “That’s the key to our game all year is to move the ball.”

Tech, which held an 11-5 edge in shots on goal, came up empty on several scoring opportunities, including two attempts that hit the crossbar.  

“It was a little harder today,” Jones said. “It was a very physical game. In the second half, we turned up the offense a little more and we had a little more scoring opportunities.”

Senior goalkeeper Christian Mojarro, who Jones said was ill the previous night, earned the shutout with five saves. 

“The guys obviously have to enjoy it tonight and relax,” Jones said. “But we don’t have much time for a turnaround, so we just have to come back ready to play.” 

Sparks 4, Clark 1 — Oscar Gomez scored two goals in the first half as the Railroaders defeated the Chargers (13-7-1) in the other semifinal.

Juan Regalado scored the lone goal for Clark, which trailed 3-0 before finally getting on the board.

Henery Gonzalez and Joseph Dominquez also scored for Sparks, which peppered Clark goalkeeper Ramon Ramirez with 15 shots on goal. Ramirez finished with 11 saves.

DIVISION III

Whittell 2, The Meadows 1 — The Warriors scored on a penalty kick and a free kick in the final 10 minutes to nip the Mustangs (4-13-2) in the semifinals.

Adam DeJong’s goal early in the second half gave The Meadows a 1-0 lead.

Whittell will meet Incline for the title at 10 a.m. today.

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