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With the first snow of winter falling and actually sticking in the Sedona area this past week, the true meaning of “winter” finally holds strong, and with the soccer season wrapping up, it’s kind of ironic the white rain comes this late.

Like the snow, the No. 3 Sedona Red Rock High boys soccer team fell, at the Benedict Sports Complex in Tempe, to No. 6 Northwest Christian High in the second round of the 1A-3A state tournament in overtime, 2-0.

“We were ready for Northwest, and we outplayed them for 100 minutes, but we didn’t cash in on our opportunities,” Sedona head coach Jared Grondin said.

Sedona fought tooth and nail with the Crusaders as the two teams split their regular season series 1-1 with Northwest Christian winning the first match on Dec. 10, 1-0, and then the Scorpions claiming victory over them on Jan. 26, 4-2.

“We outshot them, out-passed them and out-hustled them. They were coached to disrupt our flow with dirty play,” Grondin said.

Northwest Christian players, maybe realizing Sedona was just as good as them, resorted to a few dirty plays while the referee wasn’t looking, but Sedona players stood their ground.

For a full 80 minutes, neither team could find the back of the net despite plenty of hustle and skill play, which made for a great game to watch for spectators from both sidelines.

As the match went to overtime, neither team looked like they were ready to give an inch, until Crusader striker Colby Liston received the ball on the corner of the 18-yard box for a penalty kick and passed it to himself, then felt the pressure and dove, shooting the ball straight into the goal to give Northwest a 1-0 lead.

“He was already sitting on a yellow card and was warned earlier on for diving in the box. He was not given one this time and it cost us,” Grondin said.

With four minutes left in the overtime period, Sedona pushed everyone forward as they were still down 1-0 in effort to put a score in.

The move cost Sedona another goal as their defenders were out of position, and Northwest Christian scored with just under two minutes to go, giving them a 2-0 lead and eventually the win.

“It’s hard to lose when something like this happens, but in reality, we should have finished our chances at the net. We had some great opportunities but couldn’t convert,” Grondin said.

The Scorpions may have lost 2-0 in the second round of the state tournament, but in their first winter season in school history, Sedona exceeded expectations.

With the loss, Sedona wraps up its season with a stellar 17-2 overall record, including a 9-1 record in the 1A-3A West region which earned them a share of the title with none other than Northwest Christian.

First Round Action

Although the Scorpions lost in the second round, they still had to win a match to get there as they defeated No. 14 Fountain Hills High on Feb. 6, 3-0.

At halftime the score was tied 0-0, but Sedona came out firing in the second half to give themselves the victory and a much needed first win at state in their first winter season.

Senior Luke Dumyahn scored first to put the Scorpions on top 1-0 off a penalty kick.

Senior Graham Greenfield made it a 2-0 affair when he followed through a ball and tucked it away nicely for the score.

Later in the second half, senior Oscar Montesdeoca scored what would be the last goal of his career in a Scorpion uniform as he beat three Fountain Hills defenders for an unassisted goal, making it 3-0 which was the final.

“The season ends as fast as it began, and our seniors will be missed, but with an end comes a new beginning,” Grondin said.


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