When it came to playing for the Division III boys soccer championship in 2012 and 2013, Scottsdale Coronado literally drew a blank, falling to Phoenix Cortez in both games 1-0 and 4-0.
The Dons figured that if they persevered, fate eventually would smile upon them.
It did on Friday night (Feb. 14) at Gilbert Campo Verde, when second-seeded Coronado defeated the surprise of the tournament, No. 13 Phoenix Northwest Christian, 3-1 to earn the championship that had been so elusive.
First-year Coronado coach Nick Barker received a shower of ice water as the final seconds ticked away.
“It is a good day for Coronado soccer and a great day for Coronado as a school,’’ Barker said. “I don’t know if we feel more excitement or if it’s just pure joy. We are going to celebrate this for awhile.’’
If your last name was Gonzalez, it also was a good night.
Junior Miguel Gonzalez scored a goal in each half, and sophomore Cristian Gonzalez (not related) got the final goal in the second half on a header.
Miguel scored one of the most unusual goals you will see for a 1-0 Coronado lead with 21:24 left in the first half.
As the teams scrambled for the ball in front of the Northwest Christian goal, Miguel somehow found himself draped over Crusaders goalkeeper Ian Maddox, who was on the ground.
The ball came loose and Miguel had the flexibility to reach his leg out and kick the ball into the net.
“His will made that ball go in,’’ Barker said.
With 36:56 left in the second half, Miguel used his speed to outrun a defender and sent the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.
“We knew we had to get the ball upfield quickly,’’ Barker said.
Miguel barely missed a hat trick when his shot hit the left goal post and bounced away with 32:10 left.
Less than a minute later, Cristian made his presence felt with the header to make it 3-0 with 31:44 left.
Northwest Christian did not give up. The Crusaders pulled to within 3-1 when Scott Martin headed the ball in off a throw-in with 27:40 left.
The Crusaders began to put the pressure on, but could not pull any closer.
Coronado finished the season 15-3-1, Northwest Christian 12-11.