Chaparral was close to resting its fate with chance as often happens if matches are left decided by penalty kicks.
The top-seeded Firebirds snuck in a goal in the 95th minute on a header by McKenzie Davis to defeat sister-school Arcadia, 1-0, and capture the 5A girls soccer crown at Campo Verde High School.
The title was the fourth overall and third outright in Chaparral girls soccer history -- all under current coach Robyn Carlson, who started the program in 1995. The Firebirds previous championships came in 1998, 2001 (shared with Arcadia) and 2004. The win was Chaparral's 20th of the season against one loss and two ties. Arcadia finished 14-5-1 in its attempt to win its first girls soccer title outright.
Arcadia's strategy throughout appeared to be defend, defend and defend some more. Most of the match was played in Arcadia's half of the field. Chaparral was able to advance the ball often in the final third, but didn't get off many quality shots. If worse came to worse, Arcadia opted to kick the ball out of bounds and allow Chaparral to reset.
The winning goal came on the heels of a free-kick attempt by Rachel Brown from 30 yards out midway through the second 10-minute overtime. Brown's kick hit the cross bar and a follow by Emma Carlson did the dame. Davis' header after Carlson's attempt found the right corner of the net past Arcadia keeper Sarandon Raboin.
The teams met a month ago in region play and Chaparral came away with a 5-2 victory. Perhaps that scoring onslaught by the Firebirds prompted Arcadia's defensive posture in the rematch.