BOYS SOCCER: Knights clobber Cactus, 9-0
It didn’t take long for the Lake Havasu boys soccer team to make its mark on Tuesday night at Lee Barnes Stadium.
The Knights scored three goals in the first 12 minutes on the way to a dominant 9-0 victory over Peoria Cactus on senior night.
The highest-scoring team in 4A scored early and often in the contest while also denying Cactus almost any extended possession in the match.
Senior midfielder Axel Gamez started the scoring in the fifth minute and classmate Johnathan Perez scored his first of the night just five minutes later. One minute after that senior forward Peyton Luzzi chipped a shot from the edge of the box that found its way past the Cactus keeper and Perez got a powerful foot on another in the 18th minute, burying a goal in the top corner of the net to give the Knights a 4-0 lead before a quarter of the match had elapsed.
The Knights scoring pace slowed down after that point, but didnt stop completely, with senior defender Gabe Balderrama finding the ball on his foot in the box and ringing a shot off the post before finding the rebound to give Havasu a 5-0 lead in the 27th minute. The Knights scored just once more in the first half, when senior Bryson Chalfant dribbled the ball into the box in the final minute of the half and beat the Cactus keeper one on zero to give Havasu a 6-0 lead at halftime.
Randy Gallegos, Jesse Dominguez and Danny Pando all scored in the second half to add to the rout.
“It was a nice result,” Havasu coach Christina Gibbs said. “It’s probably our best year in my four years that I’ve been here.
“Things are finally working themselves out. Our passing is on, the kids are playing just really great soccer. It’s fun to watch.”
The No. 14 Knights play at No. 15 Desert Edge on Thursday to close out regional play in a game that could decide if one of the teams hosts a playoff game. The play-in rounds of the postseason begin on Feb. 7.
The top 16 seeds host at least one playoff game. The game will also serve as a regional title game, with the Scorpions currently half a game ahead of Havasu in the standings.
“It’s going to be a pretty physical game,” Gibbs said.
“We have to keep going with what we’ve been doing this year: work the ball, pass it, play quickly, keep it away from teams that are a little more physical.”
Havasu closes the season on Monday in a makeup game against Mohave at Lee Barnes Stadium.