Ironwood Ridge girls & Sunnyside boys win Brandon Bean Championships

December 2, 2018 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365

Sunnyside is 6-0 on the year. (Andy Morales/

Bella Santavicca found Gracie Reinholtz in the 95th minute to defeat Salpointe 2-1 in the championship match of the Brandon Bean Invitational Saturday night at Ed Doherty Stadium.

The Nighthawks started out the week with two ties against no wins and no losses but finished pool play strong with a 3-1 victory over Canyon del Oro on Wednesday. The 1-1 tie with Rincon/University on Monday and the 0-0 tie with Buena on Tuesday kept the Nighthawks in playoff contention and the team went into bracket play of Friday with a No. 5 seed where they upset No. 4 Rincon/UHS 1-0 to advance to the semifinal round.

No. 8 Mountain View pulled off the biggest upset of the week by taking out No.1 Cienega 5-3 in PKs but Ironwood Ridge advanced to the championship match with a 1-0 win over the Lions late Friday night.

Meanwhile, Salpointe came into the playoff round with a 3-0 record to take the No. 2 seed, easily defeating No. 7 Sunnyside 6-0 to make it to the semifinals where the Lancers beat No. 6 Walden Grove in PKs after a 1-1 tie to set up the final match with Ironwood Ridge.

Salpointe took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute of play on a shot from Carolina Alvarado but the team was unable to take advantage of a dominant first half that rarely saw play enter their side of the field and Santavicca took a header from Nikki Suckell to tie the match up 1-1 in the 51st minute.

The match went to overtime with Reinholtz coming through with the clincher in the 95th minute to avoid another shot-from-the-mark finish.

“It was exciting but I was in the moment and it was one of those things you don’t realize you did till later,” Reinholtz said. “I really like this team because everyone is really trying to make sure you are doing the best you can on and off the field.”

5A Ironwood Ridge (4-0-2) will host 6A Tucson (1-1-1) on Tuesday, Dec. 4 to start regular season play and 4A Salpointe (5-1) will host 5A Cienega (3-1) on the same night.

Santavicca earned the Laura Kea award for outstanding field play and her teammate Kelli Suckell earned the Brandon Bean award for her work in goal.

On the boy’s side, No. 1 Sunnyside and No. 2 Tucson flew through pool play with the Blue Devils outscoring their three opponents 12-0 and the Badgers coming out 17-1 against theirs.

Still, No. 8 Salpointe came close to knocking off the Blue Devils in the first round on Friday morning but came up short 3-2 but Sunnyside regrouped and beat No. 4 Cienega 4-0 in the semifinal later Friday night to set up the final against Tucson.

The Badgers beat No. 7 Ironwood Ridge 2-0 on Friday morning and survived No. 3 Rincon/UHS 2-1 Friday night to advance to Saturday night.

Tucson took a 1-0 lead on Sunnyside on a goal from Javier Martinez in the 36th but Ulysses Torres-Palacios came through in the 55th to tie the match up 1-1. Manuel Quiroz put the Blue Devils up 2-1 on a PK in the 67th but Issack Nunez put one in two minutes later to tie it back up 2-2.

It looked like the championship was headed for two tens but Julio Lemas found the net with 34 second left in regulation to give the Blue Devils the 3-2 championship.

Tucson keeper David Martinez earned the Brandon Bean award for his play during the week and Quiroz brought home the Laura Kea award for his play on the field.

5A Sunnyside (6-0) travels to 5A Flowing Wells (2-2) on Tuesday while 6A Tucson (5-1) will host 5A Ironwood Ridge (2-2) on the same night.

Tucson High is the only team from Southern Arizona competing in the 6A Conference. In addition, new rule 4.1.1.a requires the home team in all conferences to wear dark jerseys and dark socks at home, as discussed in the coaches meeting that took place on Oct. 27.