PHOENIX — The Bradshaw Mountain boys soccer team’s 2018-19 regular season left a bit to be desired.
However, this week, the veteran Bears had a chance to redeem themselves in the 4A state play-in round – and they didn’t disappoint.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, No. 21 seed Bradshaw Mountain came from behind to upset No. 12 Arcadia, 4-3, thanks to Geronimo Sotelo’s hat trick of three goals, to advance to the state tournament for the second time in the past three seasons (2016-17).
Trailing by two goals in the second half, the Bears battled back, led by seniors Sotelo and Kyle Spencer. Eddie Estrada added a goal for Bradshaw Mountain, but it was Sotelo who booted in the eventual game-winner.
“The boys battled the entire game,” Bears interim coach Dustin Fechner said.
The Bears, who upped their record to 7-5-1, will find out which Top 8 seed they’ll face in the first round of the state tournament at 2:30 p.m. today, Feb. 8, during the live bracket show at azpreps365.com. The opening round is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, as the eight play-in round winners travel to the eight highest-seeded teams’ fields.
Heading into Thursday, Arcadia had won eight straight power-point matches since Dec. 17. Arcadia’s last loss came at Flagstaff, 5-1, on Dec. 14. The Eagles, who are in the Grand Canyon region with the Bears, are one of the Top 8 seeds.
Meanwhile, Bradshaw Mountain improved to 5-4-0 in its last nine matches, since Jan. 8, and hopes to continue playing the spoiler role. All four of the Bears’ losses during that stretch were by one goal.
Amphitheater, Catalina Foothills, Cortez, Douglas, Flagstaff, Prescott, Salpointe Catholic and Tempe snared the top seeds on the boys’ side.
Bradshaw Mountain advances to the 4A state tournament’s first round at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at an opponent to be determined.
Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.