Desert Vista vs. San Luis boys soccer semifinal matchup
Division I Boys Soccer semifinals
No. 10 San Luis vs. No. 3 Desert Vista
When: 5 p.m. Thursday
Where: Campo Verde H.S. (3870 S. Quartz Street, Gilbert)
Outlook: It’s been quite the late January/early February for Desert Vista, as the girls team is in Saturday’s state championship match against Xavier and the boys are on the verge of joining them. It’s an especially interesting time for the Gavin family. Hannah, a sophomore, plays on the D.V. girls team, and older brother, Danny, returned to play high school soccer at the school this winter instead of Real Salt Lake Academy in Casa Grande in order to stay closer to home. Their mother, Connie, passed away from a long battle with pancreatic cancer in early November. They’ve played with heavy hearts this season while the results speak for themselves, as Gavin is the Thunder’s biggest offensive playmaker and Hannah gets solid minutes on the girls’ state finalist squad. They’re the latest in a string of Gavin family siblings to go through Desert Vista in recent years. Defense is the name of the game for Mike Rabasca’s squad, as his boys allowed nine goals in 12 power rankings matches this season, and GK Tim O’Brien has a 1.18 goals against average. The Thunder haven’t allowed a goal in this postseason. San Luis beat Alhambra for a second time this season in the first round of this tournament, then the Sidewinders raised some eyebrows when they came to the East Valley and shut out No. 2 Corona del Sol, 2-0, in the quarterfinals to reach this point. San Luis is extremely balanced in offensive contributions with four players who earned more than 20 points this season (Leonardo Moreno, Raul Ordorica, Marlon Atondo and Andres Elizalde), and Jorge Gutierrez in net as a 1.68 goals against average. There’s a nice mix of seniors and underclassmen on this roster, but most of these kids haven’t played this deep in a state tournament. Expect an aggressive, physical match.