The Glendale Ironwood boys soccer team scored 43 seconds into Tuesday's Division I playoff game, and a stingy defense clamped down on Mountain Pointe the rest of the night.
Senior defenseman/forward Stephen Church knocked a loose ball ahead and lofted a shot from 30 yards over the head of Mountain Pointe senior goalkeeper Victor Cogco to give Hernandez for the early advantage.
The No. 7 Eagles went on to a 3-0 win over the No. 10 Pride at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in the first round of the Division I state playoffs.
Mountain Pointe coach Bryan Sabato, whose team finished 14-8, was disappointed with the loss, but said Ironwood was a “very good team.”
“We lost the game in the first 20 minutes,” Sabato said. “Anytime you put yourself behind 43 seconds into the game, it’s tough to come back against anybody. I think a lot of the game was played in the middle of the field, and unfortunately, we couldn’t back them down.”
Getting the first one out the door is a relief, said Ironwood coach Tim Beck.
“Step one is done, and step two will be tougher,” Beck said. “We controlled the game the way we wanted (Mountain Pointe didn’t get their first shot on goal until there was 5:06 remaining in the first half.)
"I told them at halftime the first goal of the second half dictates it. It’s good to get the first goal early, and it’s bad because you may relax. As long as it’s not your best, it’s OK."
The Eagles (20-4) advance to play either Basha or Brophy at the high seed. Ironwood came in seed No. 7, while Basha was No. 15 and Brophy was No. 2. Beck said possible Saturday scenarios were Brophy, Ironwood or a neutral site.