Playing against the top seeds in any tournament is tough, as was the case for both the Sedona Red Rock High School boys and girls soccer teams.
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After not qualifying for last season’s Arizona Interscholastic Association Conference 3A state tournament, the Sedona Red Rock High School girls soccer team returned as the No. 15 seed for this winter’s edition.
It was a shortlived run, though, as the Scorpions [8-2-1, 1-2 3A Region 1] ran into the No. 2 seed and defending champion in Fountain Hills High School [9-1, 6-1 3A Region 5] on Tuesday, Jan. 30, losing 6-0.
The Falcons gained the endline before centering the ball to open the scoring within the first 30 seconds. Red Rock was organized and defended well, head coach Juan Carlos Aguilar said, not allowing Fountain Hills to penetrate deep into the attacking third.
As a result, the physically imposing Falcons found other ways of scoring, through corners and outside shots.
“They move the ball good; their defense has good experience,” Aguilar said. “And the height. They’re taller than our girls.”
Red Rock’s best chance was for sophomore forward Amari Sonn. Sonn had a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who rapidly came out and stopped the shot.
Scorpions downed by Knights
The No. 16 seeded boys team [6-4, 3-1 3A Region 1] was tasked with taking on the No. 1 seed Arizona College Preparatory Knights on Wednesday, Jan. 31, on the road.
The Scorpions lost 5-2, but put the pressure on the Knights [12-0. 7-0 3A Region 3] first, going up 1-0 through an early goal by sophomore midfielder Clark Borjon. Arizona College Prep scored twice to go up 2-1, then Borjon leveled the score before 30 minutes.
Red Rock was just the third team to have scored more than one goal against the Knights all season.
“I know the scoresheet says something else. But anyone who went to that game will tell you that play-wise, that everything apart from the scoresheet we won that game. That other team never expected what they had with us,” Red Rock head coach Daniel Valenzuela said.
Three second-half goals sentenced the game, but Valenzuela said that his team played well enough to have scored three goals. Valenzuela added that some unfortunate decisions went against the team.
“It was a little unlucky on our part, but still we didn’t drop our standard of play,” Valenzuela said. “My boys did not give up.”