Pirates Soccer Advances to Semi-Finals
Jul 15, 2016 09:50AM
● By Bryan Scott
The 2016 Cyprus Pirates soccer team lost in the state semifinals to Orem. —Cyprus soccer
By Greg James | [email protected]
The Cyprus High School boys soccer team had one team standing between them and a 4A finals appearance, the Orem Tigers. Despite their best efforts they fell just short of advancing.
“I feel like our season went very well. I am very happy with the way our kids performed. I think we are looking forward to a great future,” Pirates head coach Jason DeHerrera said.
The Pirates ended their season as one of four teams in the states 4A division standing and the only team in the Salt Lake Valley to advance that far in any division.
“At some points of the season I felt we were learning to fill spots. Once we got rolling I knew I expected to make it to the semi-finals at the very least,” DeHerrera said.
The Pirates finished the regular season with a 9-2-1 region record. Three wins in the final four games secured them second place in Region 6 behind Murray.
In the first round of the state playoffs they defeated Union 1-0. Senior defender Marco Solis scored the lone goal in the victory and Saul Zavala recorded a shutout in goal.
In the second round they faced their former Region 6 opponent the Bountiful Braves. An overtime goal from Josh Mercado enabled the Pirates to advance into the semi- finals.
“It was a fun season and I had great teammates,” junior forward Jose Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo secured a nice pass from Edgar Prieto and scorched a nice ball over the Orem keepers right shoulder in the second minute of the Pirates semifinal contest. The Pirates held an early 1-0 lead. Orem was just getting warmed up and scored the next two goals. Despite trailing the Pirates never gave up. A clearing pass bounced over the Tigers defenders heads and Aaron Alvarado capitalized to score thegame tying goal.
The two teams held each other scoreless the entire second half and during two additional overtimes. The winner of the contest would be decided in six penalty kicks. Orem scored in its final pk and advanced on to the finals. They evntually lost to Maple Mountain in the championship game, 1-0.
“It is hard to lose like that, but I will not say it was disappointing. It is a hard pill to swallow, but we did not get outplayed or outclassed. We will make sure we are going to be consistent and contend for a region championship every year. We are looking good for the next few years at the very least,” DeHerrera said.
Marco Solis was the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals. Zavala recorded two shut outs in goal.
“Marco led us in goals which is unheard of from a defender. Aaron Alvarado played middle for us a provided a lot of transitional attacks for our team. Realistically it has been in our character all season to battle back. At times we have been down a goal and found a way to battle back into the game. We are a young team and we will be back next year,” DeHerrera said.
The Pirates returned to the post season after missing the tournament last season. DeHerrera finished his sixth season as head coach.