For a team that has aspirations of winning a state title this season, Tolleson’s boys soccer team sure didn’t play the part of a state title contender Wednesday night.
Tolleson’s slow start against a worthy opponent, Phoenix Trevor Browne, led to some sloppy play in the first half. But after a halftime pep talk by coach Benjamin Andronic, Tolleson emerged a different team.
The same can be said about Trevor Browne. The pace of the match and scoring opportunities picked up for both squads as soon as the second 40-minute half started.
But Tolleson registered the only goal of the game, which forward Adam Adoyi delivered. For being a tall player, Adoyi has a nice first touch, and that first step helped him give his team a 1-0 home victory.
Joel Burgos’ set up the scoring play with his run up the middle before finding Adoyi, who dribbled to his left to find the angle he wanted in order to beat the goalkeeper from about 10 yards. Adoyi is a starter, but a knee injury forced him to start on the bench against Trevor Browne.
But after the first 10 minutes of the game elapsed, Andronic signaled for Adoyi to warm up. Losing a tournament championship game on Saturday to Ironwood is the reason why Tolleson didn’t perform well in the first half on Wednesday, Adoyi said.
On Wednesday, Tolleson was apparently still fuming about that loss, but Andronic snapped his team out of it.
“That halftime speech by coach motivated us,” Adoyi said.
Tolleson can’t afford to waste the first 40 minutes in its next game.
That’s because the defending Division I state champ, Brophy, which defeated Tolleson in the state semifinals the past two seasons, will visit Tolleson on Thursday. Also, if it lines up for a penalty kick like it did on Wednesday, Tolleson might need to convert against Brophy.
Trevor Brown goalkeeper Oswaldo Machado guessed correctly after blocking a Tolleson penalty kick in the second half.
“Our midfield play was unselfish today,” Trevor Browne coach Jeffrey Scofield said. “We got everything we wanted except for our shots going in.”