With the soccer postseason well underway, 18 Desert Speed School athletes play this weekend in the quarterfinals, all looking to advance to the semis of the state tournament. On the girls’ side, #2-ranked Ironwood Ridge is led by captain Emma McCormick in their 5A quarterfinal matchup against Apollo, while Tanque Verde captain Katie Lautaret hopes to advance her #10 Hawks past 3A Fountain Hills.
Meanwhile, #2 Salpointe and #4 Catalina Foothills look towards a possible 4A finals matchup in what would be a rematch of their regular season 1-1 draw. Salpointe is the defending 4A champion and will look to bring home another title, but will first need to win against Higley to advance to the final four. The Lancers have seven Desert Speed School athletes on their roster: Isabella Almazan, Sydney Lenhart, Kate Connelly, Paloma Teran, Grace Kaufman-Fuller, Lauren Bollinger, and Catalina Alvarado.
For their part, Foothills has five Speed School athletes on their team: Captains Meghan Hawkins and Hannah Draper, along with talented midfielder Dania Shabat, Sophie Fell, and Becca Burrows. The Falcons take on Cactus Shadows at home on Saturday.
Four boys’ players, meanwhile, hope to score second-round upsets in an effort to also advance to the semifinal round. Both #10 Salpointe (Ellis Jacob, Andy Roche) and #12 Sabino (Dylan Rayo, Ben Kopiec, Ryan Spitzer) scored upsets in their first round games, and look to find some of that same success this weekend.
(Photo credit: Andy Morales)