If you liked last year’s 6A soccer championship results, there’s a really good chance you enjoyed both title games again this year.
This year was almost a mirror image of last season’s boys’ and girls’ championship games.
The Chaparral High School girls won their fourth consecutive 6A title, while the Bropy Prep boys’ team also posted a repeat to earn back-to-back titles.
It was also the third straight season that Brophy played in the title game, losing to Desert Vista HS in the 2018 finale. And the year before that, they made it to the semifinals. So both teams have been a force to reckon with for the last four years.
These titles make it seven total for the Broncos, while the Charparral girls’ program has accumulated six in the seven title games in which they’ve played.
While the Chaparral girls encountered little resistance as the Firebirds rolled to a 4-0 victory over Hamilton High, Brophy found the going much tougher against Chaparral’s boys’ team.
The top-seeded Broncos (21-2-1) actually had to come from behind after No.2 seed Chaparral (14-3-1) used an early goal by senior forward Aysa Hamid, who directed a deflection off a corner kick to put the Firebirds on the board in the seventh minute. A stiff defense enabled Chaparral to take the 1-0 lead into halftime.
But the second half belonged to the speedy and talented Brophy offense, which had outscored opponents 17-3 leading up to the title game. Logan Abele accounted for Brophy’s first goal just seven minutes into the second half, redirecting a long cross from Case Montanile deep into the Chaparral net.
A header by Anthony Hidalgo that just barely cleared the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Cole Johnnson gave Brophy the go-ahead goal with 20 minutes left to play. As it turned out, that was all that Brophy needed to secure the 2-1 victory.
In the girls’ title game, a couple of seniors playing their final high school game combined to provide the first two Chaparral goals and start the scoring momentum that would lead to the 4-0 rout.
After a scoreless first half, Isabella Struckman got the scoring started just two minutes into the second half by taking a pass from Chloe Steinhilber and blasting the ball into the net from 15 feet out. Struckman added the second goal off another Steinhilber assist at the 50th minute.
Struckman and Steinhilber were part of a five-player group that began their prep careers by winning the first of four straight titles as freshmen, and Wednesday wrapped up their fourth title to cap an amazing journey for the seniors. The other three are Hailey Schmitt, Madison Liebman, and Kelly Hitchcock.
A freshman, Sami Fisher, took her turn at scoring next, giving the Firebirds an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the 59th minute. And finally, Struckman completed her hat trick with a penalty kick with just three minutes left to play to put an exclamation mark on the 4-0 shutout.
Top-seeded Chaparral finished the season with a 21-1-3 record, while No. 7 Hamilton, which won its only girls’ state title in 2011, closed out a 17-4-3 campaign in which the Huskies allowed just seven goals the entire season.
That is, before Chaparral tagged them for four goals in the most important game of the year.