Sunrise girls soccer scores in last seconds to slip by Centennial

Late goal clinches Northwest Region crown


The controversial call led to a loose ball that set up the winning shot in the final 10 seconds.

But the Centennial gym was quiet Monday night. Instead, this unusual soccer scenario played out on the Coyotes wet field.

Visiting Sunrise Mountain was awarded a disputed corner kick in the final 30 seconds. Senior defender Lauren Hill lofted the corner in with 15 seconds left and senior forward Sierra Cobry corralled the deflection and knocked in the goal with 10 seconds on the clock for a 2-1 win.

"(Controlling and shooting deflections) is something we spend a lot of time on. This has been our worst year for that until tonight," Sunrise Mountain coach Erik Andersen said.

Referees called a deflection on the Mustangs shot that led to the decisive corner kick.

Centennial coach Marc Shrake said the shot was not deflected and should have resulted in a goal kick, which would have led to overtime.

"In all honesty it should have been a goal kick. We didn't clear the ball well after the corner. We were ready to go the distance but that didn't help," Shrake said.

The goal secured the Northwest Region title for Sunrise Mountain (16-4-1 overall, 9-3 regular season) with a 5-0 record.  Centennial (7-5) finished 3-2, but a victory would have tied the Mustangs and given the Coyotes the tiebreaker.

The teams looked evenly matched for most of the night, with both squads playing cautiosly in a scoreless first half hampered by wind and rain.

Centennial freshman midfielder Jamie Brandon nearly scored on a breakaway and senior midfielder Lorraine Pedroza-Montoya set up a couple scoring opportunities. The visitors had a couple looks early.

"The weather made it difficul. And they're a really different team from last year with a lot of quality freshmen," Andersen said.

The feeling-out process ended early in the second half as both teams created more pressure in the offensive third. It did not translate on the new electronic scoreboard until a bizarre play in the 60th minute.

An odd ball ricocheted over the Centennial keeper's head and off a post landing near junior midfielder Makena Stotler. She calmly put it away for a 1-0 Mustangs lead.

That advantage barely lasted three minutes. Brandon tied the match on a rocket - her team-high 12th goal of the season. She is one of seven Coyotes freshmen to see more than 250 varsity minutes this season.

"We knew (Sunrise) was going to continue to press and we handled it well. These girls have improved so much," Shrake said.

The second-year Centennial coach said Perdoza-Montoya, senior defenders Julia Igneri and Izzy Ortiz  have led the new players and helped erase the rough memories of last season.

Oddly enough, both teams lost ground in the 5A girls soccer final rankings.

Centennial entered Monday #18 and hoped to win and host a play-in game. Instead the Coyotes dropped to #19 and will travel to #14 Buckeye Verrado Thursday night.

Still, it is a far cry from 3-10-1 last season.

"I can't ask more of these girls," Shrake said.

Sunrise Mountain dropped from #10 Monday to #11 in Tuesday's bracket. The Mustangs will host #22 Gilbert Higley Thursday night.

Andersen said his veteran team is healthier than it has been all season and poised to make a deep run after losing in the play-ins last year.

"On any day we can beat anybody. If we're into it from the beginning, we can compete with the best," Andersen said.