YUMA, Ariz. – Since Corey Semler took over the Gila Ridge boys soccer program last February, the Hawks have improved by leaps and bounds!
Coach Semler has successfully rallied the players in the off-season and surprised just about everyone; as they managed to hold the top spot in the section with only three games remaining. Very impressive considering the gauntlet of matches they’ve had to play; with the likes of area powers San Luis, Kofa and Cibola on their schedule two times each.
Going into Friday night, the Hawks knew they would face their last tough test in their regular season schedule against a Kofa Kings squad that’s nipping at their heels for the Section 1 front-runner spot. It’s also important to point out that Kofa is the only team that’s beaten Gila Ridge this year.
Not surprisingly, both defenses came to play at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium as no goals were scored in the first 78 minutes of the 80 minute match. Like two heavyweight boxers, both teams would throw their punches; taking various scoring opportunities throughout the match. For the most part, both defenses would put a cold stop to any offensive plays the opposing team would try to set up.
But within a minute and a half of the close of the entire match, Kofa would be the team to break through thanks to goal by Angel Lopez and an assist by Cristian Villegas.
The big win gives the Kings a half game lead in the section over Gila Ridge and they now control their own destiny for the chance to win the section outright; which would secure them an automatic Division 2 playoff birth. Kofa will host area power San Luis next week while Gila Ridge will pay a visit to Yuma.