Brian Piotrowski picked a good time to have his best game of the year.
Piotrowski scored all three Desert Vista goals en route to a 3-1 home victory over previously unbeaten Brophy Friday night in a Fiesta Region match-up.
To say Brophy has been dominant is an understatement. Coming into Friday's game the Broncos were 17-0-1 with four victories being a10-0 score or more. In 18 games Brophy has compiled 90 goals in contrast to just eight goals against.
However, Brophy did not have an answer for Desert Vista's senior forward Piotrowski.
"He has performances like these where he'll grab a bunch of goals," said Desert Vista coach Michael Rabasca. "I'm hoping this is a good sign going into the playoffs a couple of weeks from now that he's hitting his stride."
Piotrowski staked the Thunder to an early 2-0 lead with goals in the 16th and 20th minute marks. Shortly after halftime in the 44th minute, Piotrowski finished off his hat trick, giving the Thunder an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
The victory over Brophy is a huge confidence boost for the Thunder in what has been at times a disappointing year.
"We've been playing with teams, we just haven't been scoring enough goals," Rabasca said.
Desert Vista spent most of the game playing defense, and set its rotation at 5-4-1. With five defenders and four midfielders, the Thunder were playing a football equivalent of the prevent defense especially in the second half.
Brophy controlled the ball most of the game, but with many players on offense, it was left vulnerable on defense. This enabled Desert Vista to come through on its chances.
"We came in here with a game plan, executed it, and put away our chances when we had them," Piotrowski said.
The Thunder "packed the box" on defense, while on offense they pushed the ball up to their forwards without much messing around near midfield.
"We took chances with our forwards against their defenders and hit our shots," Piotrowski said.
It wasn't until the 67th minute that Brophy got on the board with a goal by Kyle Seeger. By this time, however, the game had become fairly chippy.
There were a handful of yellow cards and one red card on Brophy while Desert Vista kept its composure.
Rabasca's game plan was a blueprint for most upsets by a lesser team.
"We didn't want to make any silly mistakes, most of all," Rabasca said. "We didn't want to shoot ourselves in the foot."
It is a lot easier to play loose and avoid mistakes when your go-to guy puts up a big game.
"I'm happy for (Piotrowski). He's had a rough season in terms of goals scored," Rabasca said. "He's been working his bottom off in practices and that practice paid off tonight."
The upset will undoubtedly help the Thunder's rankings in the power-point system. However if the state tournament began today, Rabasca believes Brophy would still be the favored team.
"We stuck to our game plan and I think we were fortunate that maybe they were off tonight," Rabasca said.
Kemp is an Arizona State freshman studying journalism.