MESA - Rachel Ressler was flat on her back Saturday, looking up at the sky and by the time she got to her feet she could see the Thunder coming.

Her teammates were giving out hugs like the Desert Vista sophomore had just scored the game-winning goal to get the Thunder into the Class 5A Division I state semifinals.

And for good reason. It did the trick.

It took an extra overtime session but No. 5 Desert Vista beat No. 4 Gilbert 1-0 at Red Mountain Park when Ressler scored a few minutes into the first 10-minute half of overtime after Katelyn Tupponce led her perfectly on a direct kick.

Ressler hauled it in, battled a defender and had enough touch to get it past the Gilbert goalie for what ended up being the game winner.

"I was like, ‘Yes, finally,' " Ressler said. "I was so thankful I got it in."

After grabbing the lead, the Desert Vista defensive players did a great job of keeping it clear on their end and the offense kept enough pressure on Gilbert to dwindle the clock.

The Thunder (16-5-1) advance to Wednesday's state semifinals against top-seeded Phoenix Xavier.

Desert Vista has been a different team since the calendar flipped to January and advanced to the state semifinals for the fourth time in five seasons.

"It was one of those trying to put the right pieces in the right place," Desert Vista coach Paul Manoogian said.

In other state soccer action, No. 7 Mountain Pointe girls lost 3-0 to No. 2 Chandler Hamilton.

In Class 1A/2A/3A girls action, Horizon Honors lost 1-0 to Northwest Christian on Friday in first-round action.




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