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Do the right thing: HS soccer coach refuses to run up score, even though it costs team trip to playoffs

Dec 14, 2012, 7:49 PM EDT

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There’s nothing humorous about this last post for a Friday, and that’s by intention, but perhaps you’ll find it a bit uplifting. I know I did.

A high school soccer coach in Tucson, Ariz., refused to run up the score on an opponent, even though it cost his team a trip to the semifinals of a prestigious preseason tournament. Mountain View High entered the third round of the Bill Vanney Tempe Diablos Soccer Tournament in a tie with Corona (Ariz.) High. If both teams won their matches, the team with the better goal differential would advance to the semifinals — a big prize in girls soccer in that neck of the woods.

Mountain View needed a 16-0 win to advance — and that was highly possible, seeing that its opponent, Marcos de Niza High, had scored just one goal all season (including losses of 15-0 and 10-0 in the tournament). And Mountain View indeed shot to an early 6-0 lead.

But that’s when Mountain View coach Brian Ronan put on the brakes, telling his team from that point to play a slow, ball control offense with no shooting. The game ended 6-0.

Via Prep Rally:

“It could have been all about putting the ball in the back of the net,” Ronan told AIA365.com. “I felt this was a coaching moment. A chance to teach a life lesson. I told them how we were going to approach it. I think we left feeling like we represented our school, and were proud of how we did it.

“We left the tournament more mature, and together as a team. I think it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets and neither does our team.”

As a great man once said, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”