Clark’s Victor Alvarez was tired of waiting Wednesday night in the Division I-A Southern Region semifinals at Heritage Park.
So the senior decided to take matters into his own hands against his school’s biggest rival — top-seeded Western.
It took 11 minutes into overtime for Alexis Lopez to locate Alvarez, who was positioned at the 20-yard mark. The four-year starter maneuvered to the left side of the box, squared the ball up, and laced a left-footed shot into the right corner of the goal, giving the Chargers a 1-0 victory.
Clark (13-5-1) will battle Tech (20-0) in the title match at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s very exciting,” Alvarez said after his teammates hoisted him on their shoulders in celebration. “We were waiting for this goal. They beat us twice in the regular season. This is redemption. We’ve been working toward this.”
The Chargers, who lost twice to the Warriors (13-2-4) by the score of 3-1 during the regular season, managed to overcome several missed scoring opportunities.
“We kept telling (Alvarez) it only takes one play,” Clark coach Juan Chavez said. “I told him to, ‘Save your energy and take one play.’ This was his biggest shot.”
In the final minute of regulation, Vincent Moreau-Alarie’s strike from near midfield forced Warriors goalkeeper Reynaldo Velazquez to back up all the way to the goal line before making a leaping save.
“At the half we talked about shooting,” Chavez said. “They got excited by the fact that we were shooting, and even though they were tired, they knew it was going to go in sooner than later.”
Two other late shots hit the crossbar for the Chargers, including Eduardo Martinez’s boot from in front of the box in the seventh minute of overtime.
“We just had to keep on fighting,” Alvarez said. “We couldn’t get scared. We had to keep on getting touches until our goal came. We didn’t feel pressure, we just didn’t know when it would happen.”
Tech 5, Boulder City 0 — Five players scored as the Roadrunners (20-0) raced past the Eagles (9-8-1), securing a spot in the final and punching their ticket to the state tournament.
“We’ve gotten to the playoffs numerous times, but this will be our first final appearance,” Tech coach
Josh Jones said. “The guys are pretty pumped about that. And we definitely want to keep our undefeated season on the line.”
Juan Palacios connected with junior midfielder Julio Vargas, who broke away from two Boulder City defenders to open the scoring barrage for Tech in the 11th minute.
Midway through the half, Hugo Flores recovered a shot that hit the crossbar, sending it into the back of the net. Two minutes later, Salvador Garcia beat the Eagles goalkeeper in front of the box on a pass from Rafael Munoz, lacing the ball into the right side of the net.
Munoz knocked in the fourth score in the 33rd minute when Derian Salcido led him with a perfect pass up the middle of the field, and Munoz tapped the ball into the left side of the net.
Salcido concluded the offensive outburst with a goal midway through the second half.
“I think we got a little complacent in the second half,” Jones said. “We made quite a few subs to rest some players heading into the championship game.”
Christian Mojarro earned the shutout with two saves.