PLEASANT VIEW Weber goalkeeper Lucas Piccolo wasn't fazed by having to defend kicks in a shootout in his team's 5A quarterfinal game against Region 1 rival Davis on Friday afternoon.
He got enough practice making spectacular saves during regulation and the two overtime sessions to prepare him for it.
Piccolo made one save and watched another Davis shot attempt fly over the crossbar during a tension-filled shootout, as the Warriors prevailed in a 2-2 game, winning 4-3 in the shootout. Weber will face Brighton in the 5A semifinals at 6 p.m. at Woods Cross High on Tuesday, the same day the Warriors' seniors graduate from high school.
There were plenty of storylines from Friday's game, such as the extremely physical play between the two teams, and a controversial hands-ball call that allowed Weber to take an early penalty kick. Piccolo's play, however, overshadowed all the subplots, as he proved to be the difference in the contest.
Prior to the shootout, Piccolo's biggest save came in the 58th minute. With the game tied 1-1, he made a diving save on a Davis free kick that he was just barely able to snag with his fingertips.
"I thought Piccolo did a great job,' said Weber coach Kenny Beus. "He came up with a couple of saves during regulation that I thought were goals. He came up big with the one save in the shootout. He gave us a chance to win that.'
Piccolo's superb play was no surprise, as he leads 5A with eight shutouts this season.
"He's amazing,' said Weber senior Kyle Gordon.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. Weber was awarded a penalty kick when one of the officials called a hands-ball on a Davis player. Phil Neuwirth took the shot, and it was blocked by Darts goalkeeper J.T. Webster. Spencer Malan then blasted a rebound-shot into the back of the net to put the Warriors in the lead.
The call and sequence infuriated Davis coach Souli Phongsavath.
"It changed the whole complexion of the game,' he said. "It wasn't even close to a penalty. He had more of a say in this game than any ref we've ever had. I'm not one to bag on referees, but he cost us the game n plain and simple.'
Although Gentrie Maag tied the game for Davis in the 32nd minute, Phongsavath said the early deficit was unfair to his team, and made it difficult for it to play from behind.
Gordon gave the Warriors the lead in the 67th minute when he made a rebound shot off of a deflection from a Davis wall, pushing it into the left corner of the net. Mike Rasmussen tied the game for the Darts less than five minutes later.
After the two overtime periods, the game went into a shootout. Taylor Fry, Garver Blackman and Neuwirth scored for the Warriors, setting up a dramatic final shot by Tyler Albretson, who beat Webster to give his team the victory.
"We want to take it all the way, so we had the adrenaline and desire,' Gordon said. "We had the mindset before that we knew what we had to do win.