Comets work overtime to advance to state

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Eric Schmoldt
Saturday, October 28, 2017

SHOREWOOD--Delavan-Darien has another chance to add to its rapidly growing collection of gold balls.

The Comets are headed back to the WIAA state boys soccer tournament.

Senior Jason Cano scored off an indirect kick late in the first overtime then connected with Pablo Guzman Martinez early in the second, leading top-ranked Delavan-Darien to a 2-0 victory over fourth-ranked Waukesha Catholic Memorial in a Division 3 sectional final Saturday night at Shorewood High.

The Comets will attempt to defend their state championship—and hoist their third gold ball in four years—this week at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.

“This is my senior year, and it’s nice to be able to do this along with my other captains,” said Cano, a four-year varsity player. “This is amazing.”

For the second time in three nights, Delavan-Darien needed overtime to advance.

The Comets and Crusaders both looked the part of two of the top teams in the state, playing unquestionably in the toughest sectional.

After a tightly played first half, Delavan-Darien dictated the second but could not break through. It outshot Catholic Memorial 17-10, though shots on goal were essentially even, in regulation.

“We just can’t find a way to score. Everyone is marking Zeus tight,” Comets coach Mike Marse said of junior Zeus Huerta, the state’s leading scorer. “Going forward, we’ve got to work on what he can do.

“And Jason, he’s playing hurt, but he’s playing really well.”

The Comets finally broke through thanks in part to a controversial call in the 99th minute.

The ball appeared to be tipped on its way back toward the Catholic Memorial keeper, so he picked it up. The referee, however, said there was no deflection and called a pass back, awarding Delavan-Darien an indirect free kick from just 15 yards out.

“That wasn’t a back pass,” Marse admitted. “I’ll take it, but I don’t think it was.”

Guzman Martinez tapped the ball to his left slightly to Cano, who ripped a shot into the upper left portion of the net.

“I wanted a chance to hit it,” Cano said. “So I got the ball, set it down and just told Pablo, ‘Tap that.’”

Cano returned the favor in the 102nd minute, playing the ball forward on a beautiful pass up the middle. Guzman Martinez calmly chipped it past the keeper, who came off his line as a last-ditch effort.

“It worked out perfectly,” Cano said. “Anything can happen ... so it was important to get that insurance goal.”

Delavan-Darien keeper Hugo Valadez stopped six shots to preserve the clean sheet and earn the right to play at state.

New this year, the state-qualifying teams will be reseeded heading into the state semifinals. The Comets should know their opponent for Friday night’s match today.

“I think I appreciate this more after the first two,” Marse said of his program making another state run. “The first one was like a blur. You learn to appreciate it.”


Catholic Memoral 0 0 0 0—0

Delavan-Darien 0 0 1 1—2

First overtime

Jason Cano (Pablo Guzman Martinez), 98:18.

Second Overtime

DD—Guzman Martinez (Cano), 101:25.

Saves—Catholic Memorial 7; Hugo Valadez (DD) 6. Shots—CM 12, DD 22. Corner kicks—CM 8, DD 10. Fouls—CM 24, DD 18. Offsides—CM 0, DD 4.

Last updated: 11:53 pm Saturday, October 28, 2017

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