One player, Coronado’s Javier Estrada, scored both goals, including the game winner in the final minute, to lift Coronado of Las Vegas to a 2-1 win over Spanish Springs in the 4A boys state soccer semifinals Nov. 9 at Bettye Wilson Park in Las Vegas.
Coronado led 1-0 for much of the game, but Allen Somera’s goal for Spanish Springs in the 66th minute tied the score at 2 all.
Spanish Springs (17-2) thought they had taken the lead in the 76th minute when a header by Ryan Rutherford ended up bouncing off a Cougar player and into the net. But it was ruled a no goal when the referee said a Spanish Springs player had interfered with Coronado goalie Josue Ruiz, rather than playing the ball.
Then moments later, with time winding down, Estrada broke free with the ball down the left side and placed the game-winner into the top-right corner to send the Cougars, the defending state champs, back to the title match. They had been runner up to Galena in 2016.
“They just started pressing on us, and we were almost out of gas. We were just flat and we were just holding on for our lives there for a while,” Coronado coach Dustin Barton said. “We just got fortunate to get that counterattack and Estrada to score to end it right there.”
According to Maxpreps.com, this was the first ever meeting between the two teams. Incidentally, both have the nickname Cougars.
In the other semifinal match, Las Vegas defeated Durango 4-0.
Then on Saturday, Nov. 10, Las Vegas (20-1-1) won the state championship with a 5-1 handling of Coronado to claim their first title since 2009. It was the first all-Southern Nevada title game since 2014.