Coronado left only a couple minutes of doubt as to whether or not it would return for a third consecutive time to the Division III boys soccer final.
The No. 2 seed Dons built a 3-0 lead by early in the second half, gave up two quick goals in three minutes and closed out a trip to the final with three unanswered goals in posting a 6-2 win over No. 3 Yuma Catholic in a D-III semi at Arcadia High School.
The name Gonzalez was instrumental in Coronado's triumph. Junior Miguel Gonzalez scored two goals and added two assists and sophomore Cristian Gonzalez produced a hat trick for the winners. Coronado improved to 15-3-1 and faces No. 13 Northwest Christian a 3-2 overtime winner over No. 9 Amphitheater in Tuesday's (Feb. 11) late semifinal. The D-III title game is set for 7:30 Friday night (Feb. 14) at Campo Verde High School. Yuma Catholic finished its season 18-3.
Coronado, which finished as runner-up the last two seasons to Cortez, scored twice in the first half for a 2-0 lead on Miguel Gonzalez's two goals. Both were from close range — the first from about 5 yards out netting the far post and the second head on from about 10 yards out.
Cristian Gonzalez took over in the second half, scoring all three of his goals in a 21-minute stretch after intermission. The first came on a penalty kick in the 46th minute that ran Coronado's lead to 3-0. At that point Yuma Catholic showed some spark, scoring on a penalty kick in the 48th minute by leading scorer Jorge Ruiz. Three minutes later Omar Rojas tallied for YC to cut the margin to 3-2. It appeared to set up a dramatic finish over the final 29 minutes.
Not to be. Cristian Gonzalez scored in the 57th minute off the first of two Miguel Gonzalez assists. Two minutes later the lead ballooned to 5-2 as Miguel Gonzalez assisted Juan Cisneros. Cristian Gonzalez capped the scoring with his third goal in the 67th minute.
NWC 3, Amphitheater 2: The Crusaders (12-10) scored on a throw-in header in the 96th minute to edge the Panthers (16-6-2). NWC scored the first two goals of the contest on lightning strikes in the 39th minute by Elliot Martin and the 41st minute by Cody Fullerton. Both were precision missile shots from 20 to 25 yards out. Amphi managed to finish some shots late to tie and send the match to overtime. Junior Jorge Montoya tallied in 70th and 76th minute to send the game to overtime. Both teams lost a player to red cards — NWC late in the first overtime and Amphi seconds before Fullerton's throw-in — headed in for the game winner.