Sunrise Mountain coach Brett Underwood told his team that something special was going to happen if they just believed.
On Thursday, the Miners pulled off their second upset in three days in the Division I-A Southern Region tournament by ousting previously unbeaten Desert Pines, 3-1.
Sunrise Mountain (10-4-2) will face Tech (17-5-3) in the region title match at noon Saturday. Both teams qualify for the state tournament next week.
“It’s just an awesome feeling,” Underwood said. “We’ve had a long-running history of losing and maybe we’ve now flipped the script. I almost feel like I’m dreaming, really.”
Sunrise Mountain stormed to a 2-0 lead just 14 minutes into the match Thursday, thanks to Luis Garcia-Chapurro and Enrique Pedraza.
Garcia-Chapurro scored on a deflection from a corner kick. He headed in the bouncing ball, making it 1-0.
Minutes later, Pedraza walked in a goal after Desert Pines goalkeeper Jose Diaz deflected the previous shot attempt right to him.
Desert Pines (12-1-3) trimmed the lead to 2-1 midway through the first half on Diego Sanchez’s goal, but got no closer.
The Jaguars owned the bulk of the possession and shots in the second half, but couldn’t tie the match, and when Sunrise Mountain’s Jose Arellano scored with just 12 minutes left, several Desert Pines players fell to the ground, sensing the end of their season.
“I was really happy,” said Arreola, who felt the Jaguars coming back. “It made a big impact in our game.”
Underwood got the Gatorade bath after the match.
“There’s just so many special things that are happening up at Sunrise right now,” Underwood said. “We’re a turnaround school. We’ve got new teachers, new administration, and there’s just a whole new spirit in the building. This literally just adds to it.”
Tech 4, Chaparral 0 — Derian Salcido took part in every goal for the Roadrunners.
The senior finished with three goals and an assist as Tech eliminated the Cowboys (9-7-1).
“Unbelievable game today,” Tech coach Josh Jones said of Salcido. “He’s usually one of the smaller guys on the field, but he plays like he’s 6-foot-5. He’s got one of the best shots on our team. He does a good job moving from that midfield into that attacking area.”
Salcido scored his the three goals in the opening 20 minutes, opening the scoring in the fifth minute when he received a crossing pass from his teammate Julio Del Real and put it into the net to make it 1-0.
In the 14th minute, Salcido sprinted from the midfield, took a pass from Adolfo Guzman, and then rocketed it in from 15 yards out.
Just minutes later, Salcido headed in Julio Vargas’ free kick to make it 3-0.
“We were really motivated and all focused,” Salcido said. “That’s why we got our good start.”
Salcido’s assist was on Guzman’s goal in the 64th minute.
Goalkeeper Tyler Harvey made seven saves to earn the shutout. It was the third time he’s blanked Chaparral this season.
“I think we’re just peaking at the right time,” Jones said. “These guys have all been here before, so I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be nerves. It’s just about playing sound soccer and hopefully getting to the championship.”