No. 23 Desert Vista used two goals from freshman Brennan Klein to get past No. 10 Rincon/University 2-1 Thursday night in 6A play-in action.
Freshman forward Derrick Silva found senior Will Birchard on a corner kick to put the Rangers up 1-0 in 57th minute but Klein evened things up less than a minute later. Klein exited the game for a while but was reinserted for the winner in the 67th.
“We’ve had some rough patches this year,” Klein said. “But we play with a lot of heart. We somehow manage to pull it off.”
The Thunder went 1-5-1 in the month of January and finished in fifth place in the Central Region but managed to qualify for the Play-In tournament thanks to power points derived from a very difficult schedule.
Desert Vista moves on to the 6A 16-team bracket to be announced on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
On the other hand, the Rangers had some impressive wins over Catalina Foothills, Cienega and Salpointe but lost to Tucson, Sunnyside and San Luis in region play.
Silva is the only player from Arizona named to the US Youth Soccer Argentina 2002 Boys Roster. As a member of the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (ODP), Silva traveled to Argentina last year and is expected to do the same this year.
The AIA Soccer Bracket Show is Friday at 2 p.m. and can be seen at live AZPreps365.com.