Chaparral boys soccer coach Eric Rolwing has made a habit of creating tough nonconference schedules every season since taking over the program five years ago.
His Cowboys, who entered Monday’s match already having played three teams ranked in the Southern Nevada Coaches Poll this season, should get a major boost going into league play after seeing a fourth in Canyon Springs.
Leo Gutierrez converted a header off a corner kick from Gerardo Perieda with four minutes remaining Monday as the host Cowboys rallied from a late second-half deficit to defeat No. 5 Canyon Springs, 4-3.
“It was a great corner kick,” Rolwing said. “Omar Miranda did a good job of shielding the keeper’s eyes, and I don’t think the keeper saw (the ball) until the last tenth of a second. It was very tough to deal with, and Leo is 6-foot.”
Chaparral (6-3-1) scored two goals in the final 12 minutes to earn the win. Ramiro Alvarado assisted on Ivan Topete’s header in the 68th minute to tie the game and set up Gutierrez’s go-ahead goal.
“That could have gone either way,” Rolwing said. “Canyon Springs is a strong program. They’re always a top 10 team, so that’s why we scheduled this game today.”
The Cowboys benefitted from playing a man up the final eight minutes after Canyon Springs’ Eduardo Quintero-Rodriguez was given a red card for language. Quintero-Rodriguez, who will have to sit out the team’s next game for the penalty, had scored the Pioneers’ first two goals.
“I’m never going to question a referee’s decision on a red card,” Canyon Springs coach Dan Myers said. “If he felt it was warranted, and what (Quintero-Rodriguez) said was bad enough to pull it out, you have to live with that. If what he said was not that flagrant, I think a yellow would’ve been more (appropriate). But you have to live and learn.
“We could definitely tell the difference (playing) 11-on-10. And at that point, it kind of just sucks the wind out of you.”
Edgar Donate’s penalty kick in the 66th minute gave the Pioneers their first lead at 3-2 and a win seemed imminent. But a few miscues on defense allowed the comeback to the Class 3A Cowboys.
“You can’t take anyone for granted in this town,” said Myers, whose team plays in Class 4A. “It doesn’t matter anymore what size school, what they’ve done in the past. Everybody can beat everybody in this city. You’ve got to come ready to play. We had a letdown and we let some calls that didn’t go our way get into our heads a little bit.”
Felix Dominguez-Vera made five saves for Canyon Springs (5-2).
Miguel Mendoza scored Chaparral’s first goal in the 17th minute and added a left-footed goal early in the second half to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead. The junior said he would have preferred a less-stressful finish, but still will take the win heading into league play.
“This just shows that we don’t give up and we’re determined to win,” Mendoza said.