The no. 2-ranked Salpointe Catholic boy’s soccer team shut out Douglas 7-0 on Saturday in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Three consecutive goals in the first half by senior midfielder Santiago Ballesteros ignited an explosive performance from the Lancers on offense. Salpointe’s defense was equally impressive, allowing only one shot on goal the entire match.
Up 3-0 on Douglas at the half, Salpointe (11-2, 6-0) began to wear out Douglas in the second half (5-7-1, 4-2), leading to four goals by different Lancers.
Ballesteros was quick to credit his teammates for his three first-half goals at the 13th, 23rd and 25th minute.
“Going down the side was definitely working for us on offense,” Ballesteros said. “Our outside backs and outside wingers contributed to a lot of our success this year, and I just had to put it in the back of the net.”
Salpointe head coach Wolfgang Weber — a member of the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame who has eight state titles in his 40-year coaching career, one of which came last season — wants to keep the Lancers focused on the present.
“Right now we haven’t looked down at what lies ahead; we can look at that over the weekend,’ Weber said. “Because now we went from 16 teams to eight, so now we have to see whose are next opponent and what will they throw our way and how can we solve that. So that’s kind of our attitude. Let’s go one game at a time and not talk about championships or finals, but just look forward to the next game, and to us, philosophically, it’s kind of like after the game is before the game.
“So this game is over, and now we can look at the next one to come.”
Salpointe finished with 18 shots on goal.
Ballesteros finished with three goals.
Freshman forward Leo Gutierrez, junior defender Cesar Cabello, senior defender Cruz Montano, and senior midfielder Buzz Grogan had Salpointe’s other four goals.
Junior forward Nicolas Valenzuela finished with two assists.
Senior defender Sergio Ruiz De Chavez, junior defender Benjamin Meadmore, and senior midfielder Elijah Gutierrez finished with an assist.
Salpointe plays in the 4A state quarterfinals against Dysart (El Mirage) on Feb. 15 at Salpointe.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He is currently attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.