The championship trophy belongs to Phoenix Brophy.
The Broncos took a long time to get there, but it was well worth the wait.
A few days after a Division I soccer semifinal victory over Phoenix Alhambra on penalty kicks, second-seeded Brophy again went the extra mile and defeated top-seeded Chandler Hamilton 1-0 on penalty kicks at Gilbert Campo Verde on Saturday night (Feb. 15). Brophy earned its second straight title.
Brophy (21-2) outdueled Hamilton (23-2) in penalty kicks 4-2. Fergus Shanks scored on the decisive kick, just as he did against Alhambra, and Phil Mourikes once again was stellar in goal.
“It was our fifth penalty-kick game of the season, so maybe we were used to it a little,’’ said Noah Lewkowitz, who took over as coach of the Brophy program this season after the departure of Marc Kelly.
“Both teams were pretty equally matched. Hamilton was all over us at times (controlling the ball), but at other times, we had the run of play.’’
Lewkowitz added that it seems a bit odd to decide the matchup of two quality teams on penalty kicks.
“It’s like deciding a basketball game on free throws,’’ he said.
Still, he was thankful to have Mourikes in goal.
Mourikes stopped Hamilton’s first two penalty kicks to give Brophy the advantage. Lewkowitz called the second one the play of the game.
Mourikes waited for Hamilton’s Andrew Holland to make his move, then extended his body to the right and knocked the ball away with his right hand.
Playing in the penalty-kick format is the most exciting for a goalie, Mourikes said.
“It is my favorite,’’ said the senior.
“I had the confidence because I knew my teammates were behind me.’’
The matchup against Holland was interesting for Mourikes because he and Holland are club teammates.
“That shot was huge. I wasn’t really sure what he was going to do. I just reacted the best way that I could,’’ Mourikes said.
When Shanks scored to give Brophy its fourth successful kick, one that Hamilton would not be able to match, the Brophy players stormed the field.
Senior Tyler Dial hopped toward the pile, whooping it up and raising two crutches into the air. His right knee was in a brace.
He had suffered the injury earlier in the game (possible torn anterior cruciate ligament), but this moment took some of the pain away. It was as if he had scored the winning goal himself.