FC Tucson Women ended the season with a 3-1-3 record with only one goal separating the dominant program from repeating as Desert Conference champions to SC del Sol (5-1-2). This kind of sounds crazy but it’s true.
The mark a great program is one that controls its own destiny and Tucson owned all of that early on, lost it a couple of times, and then regained it through most of the final match of the year Saturday night in Phoenix on a 1-1 draw against SC del Sol.
The team started this summer out 3-0 but a late-match collapse against SC del Sol in June was followed by a canceled match with Las Vegas and a frustrating 1-0 loss to Arizona Arsenal. That streak of misfortune meant any hope of a repeat was in the hands of other clubs down the stretch and handing over control like that is not part of the character of head coach Kelly Pierce. It’s simply not part of the DNA of this program.
ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴀʀᴅ
— FC Tucson Women (@fctucsonwomen) July 10, 2022
But help did come when Arsenal ended their season with a draw against Las Vegas which handed the keys to a championship back to Pierce and her squad. Lindsay Hubbard (Xavier Prep/Seattle) crossed over to Meredith Scott (Walden Grove/Pima) in the 25th minute and it looked like something magical was about to happen but SC del Sol scored in the 46th and then shot after shot missed by inches the rest of the way and the draw handed the championship to SC del Sol for the first time in 12 years.
All the missed opportunities in the season still came down to one goal which meant the rest of the conference had to play above and beyond what they were used to just to take Tucson to the limit and it almost wasn’t enough – but it was. This year.
“We do have high standards, because we know what we can do and what we’re capable of,” Pierce said in a release. “So it’s disappointing and it’s going to sting a little bit. But I think if it didn’t, it would show we didn’t care. Maybe we’ll all learn from it.”
Named one of “Arizona’s Heart & Sol” by KOLD and Casino del Sol, Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and a 2019 AZ Education News recognition. He was a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling and his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is a Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019, became a member of the Sunnyside Los Mezquites Cross Country Hall of Fame in 2021 and he was a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. He earned a Distinguished Service Award from Amphitheater and he was recognized by City Councilman Richard Fimbres. Contact Andy Morales at email@example.com