MESA - As much as the wind was blowing at Red Mountain Park, leaving a soccer match to chance was not a good idea.
A season could end on one slip or a wind-aided shot - wind gusts were as much as 30 mph - that resulted in a decision that otherwise might not have happened.
The Desert Vista girls soccer team made sure that wasn't possible in grabbing an early lead on the way to a 3-0 win Tuesday over No. 12 Sierra Vista Buena.
"When we scored those goals it took away the chance of anything odd happening," Desert Vista coach Paul Manoogian said. "When the wind is blowing like this you never know what might happen so you can't leave anything to chance."
The fifth-seeded Thunder (15-5-1) advances to take on No. 4 Gilbert in the state quarterfinals.
Desert Vista's first goal came on a free kick as Jessica Cutter's shot cleared the goalie's reach and came down safely in the back of the net. The second one came after some nifty and sharp passing that led to Rachel Ressler making it 2-0 before the half.
Buena helped the cause by essentially scoring the Thunder's third goal that was credited to Desert Vista's Jackie Janssen.
"When the weather is like this it is easy to play timid and not go after balls," Cutter said. "We fought through it and got a good lead at the half. You don't want to keep it close and let something crazy make the difference."
Buena didn't pose much of an offensive threat and MacKenzie Meegan, with the help of the Thunder's defense, picked up the shutout.
"She dealt with things very well tonight," Manoogian said. "We were pleased with her aggressiveness and getting after balls."
(480) 898-7915 or