PHOENIX, Ariz. – Sophomore Alex de la Garza’s goal with less than 17 minutes remaining was all that Incarnate Word needed to win 1-0 against Regis (Colo.) during Round 3 on Thursday.
“It was a very defensive type of game,” UIW head coach Vince Martinez said. “They are a team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation for half the season, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
De la Garza’s goal pushed the Cardinals (15-3-1) into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004. The goal came after de la Garza stripped a Rangers (17-2-1) defender of the ball and was able to beat the goalkeeper in a 1-on-1 situation at 73:19.
“I saw them passing the ball back and I saw it and just took advantage,” de la Garza said. “It all happened so fast that I just tried to shoot the ball to the second post on the far side of the goal.”
In the first half, the Rangers controlled the play. They only outshot the Cardinals 5-4, but had the better run of possession and had UIW on its heels for most of the half.
Martinez made a tactical change at halftime to put more players in the midfield and the decision paid off for UIW. “They were killing us in the middle, so we decided to make one little adjustment and it paid off,” Martinez said.
The Cardinals switched roles with the Rangers and were the attackers in the second half. They fired 11 shots, including three on goal while the Rangers attempted seven with one on goal.