It was halftime of the Dysart Cup on Jan. 10 and the home Demons had been dominant but were somewhat dismayed.
Despite at least eight quality scoring chances against Valley Vista, the first half ended in a scoreless draw.
“When they first came out they were talking to each other. We let them self assess, and they said, ‘Hey, we’re being a little too selfish with each other. We need to get that ball out quicker.’ Because they were holding on too long. Hit the ball, do the movement and our fitness will start kicking in,” Dysart coach Jose Partida said.
After half time the Dysart High School offense, spearheaded by junior A.J. Orozco, kept attacking, with better results. By the 64th minute, the Demons led 2-0.
A wild final 20 seconds changed the final score to 3-1 but the result was the same. The cup returned to Dysart after Valley Vista won last year.
“To be honest, in the first half we were losing our heads. Our shots weren’t falling in. We were getting frustrated with each other. I asked them who was winning this game. The answer was they were because we were the better team and had nothing to show for it. The second half we got that goal and our attitudes changed,” Orozco said.
Orozco had a hat trick against Valley Vista as a freshman, then played for the Phoenix Rising club instead of Dysart as a sophomore. He came back to his high school team this year and said this game was a key reason.
Orozco said he was playing this one for a teammate that lost the cup last year and joined the Army afte graduating.
He led Dysart in creating five legitimate scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Then Orozco stepped up in the 22nd minute to steal a pass at the edge of the box and passed it to Eric Orozco-Zavala, whose shot banged off the left post and back out. Three minutes later Orozco shot from the wing and Valley Vista sophomore defender Dominik Bormann slowed it down for the keeper to make the save.
Valley Vista (0-5) created its best chance in the final 12 seconds of the first half but the shot flew just wide. Still the Monsoon's strategy of a defensive shell and counterattack held up for a half.
"You have a big rivalry here with teams giving their all. There wasn't one specific time when our boys gave up. We gave up a goal becuse they made a nice play. They're a very talented team," first year Valley Vista coach Ben Cohen said. "We're working our system and I think as time moves on the system will pay dividends."
In the 46th minute Orozco drew a foul just outside the box. Junior forward David Flores calmly slotted his shot in the lower right corner for a 1-0 Demons lead.
Orozco nearly made it 2-0 but his shot clanged off the right post and out to Flores. Valley Vista senior goalkeeper Daniel Rico saved it.
“It’s a coach’s dream but the players’ dilemma. We can put somebody in off the bench that’s the same caliber as the next player,” Partida said. “Usually AJ and David have that real bond and they’ll include everyone else into it. There is no selfishness in the way they play.”
Orozco got a breakaway, faked out Rico and dribbled with flair completely around him to tuck in the 64th minute goal for a 2-0 lead.
“It was a perfect moment, especially in front of all the crowd. It was a perfect moment for me,” Orozco said.
Valley Vista earned a penalty kick with 16.3 seconds left and junior Redha Jubury put it away. Dysart (5-1) coauld have controlled the ball and tried to dribble out the clock.
Instead the Demons with a long ball just after the restart and Eric Orozco-Zavala scored with 10 seconds remaining.
“Now they’re playing the same no matter who we play. They were still pressing at the end because they’re thriving off that pace of the game,” Patridsa said.
Dysart grabbed the #8 ranking in the initial 4A power points on Jan. 11.
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