D2 Girls Soccer Playoffs: Ironwood Ridge beat Arcadia 1-0
February 6, 2016 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
No. 4 Ironwood Ridge defeated No. 5 Arcadia 1-0 Saturday to advance to the semifinal round of the Division II soccer playoffs. The Nighthawks (18-3-2) scored on an own goal in the 23rd minute and held on for the win despite a frantic comeback attempt by the Titans (15-4) down the stretch including a shot with a few seconds left.
On paper, Megan Logue recorded six saves but the last attempt popped off her gloves and came back down to her for the save. It was one of several near misses for the Titans.
"I didn't think it was going towards the goal at first," Logue said. "But I'm glad I was able to get to it. They are a great team and it was a good win for us."
Arcadia lost to Ironwood Ridge 2-1 two weeks ago in Phoenix and Titan head coach Adam Zweiback gave Ironwood Ridge full credit for the wins.
"They are well-organized and they have beaten us twice," Zweiback explained. "Congrats to them. We will be pulling for them. There is so much parity in Division II any team can win it this year."
Zweiback loses three seniors to graduation.
Ironwood Ridge missed the playoffs last year and they almost lost junior mid Kelly Koppy to a season-ending injury three weeks ago but the team leader battled back and only left the field on Saturday on her own terms.
"I'm happy to be out here playing again," Koppy said. "It might be the adrenaline but I feel good."
The win will send the Nighthawks back to the semifinal round for the first time since 2011 when Sean Watkins coached them to the final of the old 5A-DII division.
Ironwood Ridge will face No. 1 Salpointe (22-1) next Tuesday night in the semifinals. The Lancers defeated Ironwood Ridge 1-0 in overtime just ten days ago. The place for the match has yet to be decided.
The other semifinal will feature No. 3 Notre Dame Prep (18-2-2) and No. 7 Catalina Foothills (14-5-1). Notre Dame defeated No. 5 Cactus Shadows 5-0 and Catalina Foothills upset No. 3 Willow Canyon 2-1.
The Falcons have won eight state championships while Notre Dame has won two including last year's title. Salpointe has four team titles with the last coming in 1999.
Salpointe defeated No. 9 Sahuaro 2-1 to set up the rematch with Ironwood Ridge. The Cougars are responsible for the only loss on the Lancer schedule.