Boys soccer matches to watch
Here are a few boys soccer matches of note going on this week around the East Valley.
All records are unofficial and as of Monday afternoon Dec. 10. All matches are 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Red Mountain at Mesa: Red Mountain raised some eyebrows by reaching the semifinals of the Tempe Diablo tournament last week before falling to eventual-champion Desert Vista. The Lions have lost to Maryvale and Corona del Sol, both solid programs and topped Mountain View, 2-1. Not surprisingly, Mesa has been pretty strong to start the season in its own right, including a 2-1 win at Desert Vista and a 1-0 win over a decent Dobson team. The Jackrabbits fell to Hamilton in the Tempe Diablo tournament but have been solid on both sides of the pitch.
Gilbert at Dobson: The Mustangs got off to a solid start with wins against Skyline and Chandler before being shutout twice in the Tempe Diablo tournament by Hamilton and Mesa, respectively. A win against Desert Mountain helped a little, but scoring goals hasn’t been difficult at times. This will be Gilbert’s first real test of the season after scoring 11 combined goals in two wins in late November. Jeff Perry’s teams are almost always up for such challenges.
Chandler at Dobson: The Wolves will be coming off a Monday night match against Cesar Chavez. An intriguing lineup heading into the season with all its returners from last year’s quarterfinals team, there was a pause when Dobson beat Chandler, 1-0, on Nov. 29. Are the Mustangs legit? Or will Chandler get itself back together?
Mountain View at Mesa: It’s been about one-goal contests for the Toros, first a win over Desert Mountain (3-2) followed by a couple losses to Red Mountain and Skyline. The latter is a bit curious of an outcome, but the Toros get Desert Mountain again (Monday night) before this match.
Mountain Pointe at Brophy: The Pride have consecutive one-goal wins in their favor, but not much has happened since the end of November, and playing Brophy anytime is difficult enough, let alone if there’s a “rust” factor involved. That won’t be an issue with Brophy; it could be the opposite problem: The Broncos have a big match in Tucson against Salpointe Catholic on Monday night, then at Horizon on Wednesday.
Perry at Desert Ridge/Skyline at Highland: It’s borderline-rivalry week in the far East Valley. After an 0-4 start to the season (including a 5-1 loss to Perry), Desert Ridge took third place in its own tournament last week with a 3-2 win over Skyline. The Jaguars will have a big hole to climb out of in the power rankings, especially because the schedule gets difficult in mid-January. The Hawks are 1-2 (all one-goal matches) so far, this will be the third match in four days for Highland (Tuesday at Basha; Wednesday at Perry).
Basha at Hamilton: Hamilton already won this instr-district matchup, 3-0, at the end of November, so it would have been nice to see how the Bears shake out a few weeks later. No such luck. Hamilton is coming off a good showing in the Tempe Diablo tournament, falling in the championship match to Desert Vista in what became a heated affair (not surprising). The Huskies shouldn’t have too much trouble with Casa Grande on Thursday, but it does mean this is the second of a back-to-back.