Don’t underestimate the power of the peppermint.
Phoenix Brophy Prep’s Broncos, wearing white jerseys with horizontal red stripes that make them resemble the after-dinner confection, have their sights set on the main boys soccer course for the second straight season.
The defending Division I champs, seeded second this year, unwrapped a 3-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Glendale Ironwood at Brophy on Saturday (Feb. 8).
Brophy (19-2) advances to play sixth-seeded Phoenix Alhambra in one semifinal match on Wednesday (Feb. 12) at Gilbert Campo Verde High, with a 5 p.m. start time. Alhambra defeated No. 14 Gilbert Highland 3-1. In the other semi that follows, No. 1 seed Chandler Hamilton will meet No. 5 Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.
Hamilton advanced with a 2-1 overtime win (penalty kicks) over No. 9 Phoenix Desert Vista, and Sandra Day O’Connor remained alive with a 2-0 win over No. 13 Phoenix North Canyon.
Ironwood finished 20-5.
The Brophy-Ironwood match was a bit chippy at times, with words and an occasional shove or two exchanged.
The Ironwood contingent wasn’t very happy with what it thought was unbalanced officiating. The Eagles were yellow-carded seven times, Brophy none.
“We scouted them and knew they were a physical team,’’ said Brophy first-year coach Noah Lewkowitz. “We knew they would be difficult to play, and they are well-coached.’’
Junior John Rea led Brophy with a goal and an assist. Seniors Adam Mosharrafa and Alex Broglia scored the other two goals.
Lewkowitz said Rea “is an excellent player. He is extremely fast.’’
Brophy also played well defensively. One of the team’s primary targets was Ironwood junior midfielder Stephen Church, whom Lewkowitz called “the best athlete on the field. We wanted to try and disrupt him as much as possible.’’
Phil Mourikes did a good job in goal for Brophy. Lewkowitz said he was instrumental in the team’s title last season, filling in for the injured starter early in the state tournament and carrying the momentum through.