Edwin Vazquez has a point of view and range of experience difficult to match.
The star Mather senior keeper is a three-year varsity starter who played on the Rangers’ Class 2A state championship team in 2011.
He is used to the biggest stage, and knows how to keep his cool and composure.
Vazquez turned the tide by blocking two penalty kicks in a shootout as Mather capitalized on a late Mustafa Tawafeeq goal in regulation to stun Young 2-1 on penalty kicks in a Public League quarterfinal Saturday at Juarez.
Mather captured the shootout portion 4-2. Tawafeeq, Ariel Torres, Mahdi Mahdi and Julio Sanchez converted for the Rangers. Torres was officially credited with the game-winning goal.
Mather(7-6-4) advances to play play No. 2 Lane in a city semifinal Tuesday at Lane. Except Public League soccer coordinator Thomas Smith is going to have to rule on Young’s protest that Mather used an ineligible player in the match.
Young coach Ian McCarthy maintained that Mather midfielder Andres Torres has been involved with a club team this season. Mather coach Henry Rahana said he was unaware of Torres’ alleged participation in academy play.
IHSA rules forbid high school players to play a club sport and high school sport simultaneously.
To make matters stranger, Torres was issued a red card late in the second half. If ruled eligible, he must sit out Mather’s next game.
Tawafeeq scored the equalizer in the 79th minute on a penalty kick after the Young keeper was ruled to have interfered with a Mather player.
Young senior midfielder Kimal Bilal had the two best scoring chances in the two overtime sessions, just missing on a short blast with his right foot in the first overtime and sailing a left-foot blast that skimmed the top of the crossbar in the second overtime.