CLASS 4A STATE: Big second half propels Legacy to championship

Legacy’s boys soccer team didn’t put a single shot on goal in the first half of Saturday’s Class 4A state title match.

Luis Chaidez made sure the Longhorns made up for it after the break.

Chaidez scored twice, and Legacy put 11 second-half shots on target, to lead the Longhorns past Desert Pines 3-0 at Bettye Wilson Park for the school’s first state championship in a team sport.

“It’s the best thing. This is what we wanted from the beginning,” Chaidez said. “Words can’t explain what I feel; I’ve dreamt of this day, and now it’s here.”

Chaidez scored an unassisted blast off a rebound five minutes after halftime for Legacy (20-1-1), after Jaguars defender Diego Sanchez made a sliding block on a shot by Eric Bojado.

“At first, I thought he was going to score it,” Chaidez said. “Then I saw the rebound; I was like, ‘this is mine.’ I had to put that in. It was the right place, right time.”

The senior forward added a 59th-minute goal after Desert Pines goalkeeper Angel Guzman tipped out a 47-yard free kick by Stefan Skrinjaric, which fell right to Chaidez’s feet.

Bojado headed home a long ball into the box from Julio Uribe five minutes before the end of the match.

“I knew I had the pieces; it was just a matter of how it all works together. From the beginning, I expected good things,” said Jose Gomez, who has coached the Longhorns since the school’s opening in 2006. “We took care of the division, the regionals, and we always talked about getting to the top — putting that in their mind and achieving a state championship. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids and what they did on the field.”

Legacy goalkeeper Ramon Carvajal made five saves to earn the shutout, the Longhorns’ 13th this season. Legacy allowed one goal in its final seven matches, dating to the team’s lone loss on Oct. 22.

“I’ve been waiting for this for three years,” Carvajal said. “Finally we got to this moment, and it feels great.”

Carvajal made only one save after the break, a diving stop on a long shot by Desert Pines midfielder Mario Moreira. The junior keeper stopped four shots in the first half, when the Jaguars had the advantage of a strong head wind.

Guzman made eight saves for Desert Pines (15-4-3), which also played in its first state championship match in school history after making the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

Moreira found Sergio Gonzalez for what appeared to be a goal in the 62nd minute, but the score was nullified on an offsides call.

“The defense is a statement in itself,” Gomez said. “When you play good defense, it gives our kids up top opportunities to finish it off. We had a lot of opportunities today. That first half, going against the wind, was a challenge. But if we could get through the first half straight up, I liked our odds.”

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