SANTA ANA PUEBLO — Alex Reyes knows what a dramatic victory in penalty kicks sounds like — even if he can’t bear to watch.
Centennial High School’s veteran soccer coach enjoyed the joyous cries of his players Thursday after goalkeeper Rylee Thatcher’s diving stop in the eighth round of penalty kicks clinched a nail-biting 2-1 victory over Cibola in the Class 5A semifinals. Reyes was sitting in a folding chair along the sideline throughout the penalty kicks, staring at the ground.
“I haven’t watched them for years,” Reyes said, “and I still don’t. Too stressful. You’ll know from the cheers when somebody wins it. I’m glad our girls were the ones cheering today.”
The dramatic ending earned the Hawks a spot in today’s championship game against Volcano Vista. It’s Centennial’s first finals appearance and the first by any non-metro area team in a large-school girls championship since 2006.