The De Anza and Hercules High boys soccer teams had different things at stake on Tuesday night, but both teams looked at this match with great importance.

The home Dons were looking to polish an at-large North Coast Section Division II playoff resume while the Tri-County Athletic League Stone Division champ Titans were looking to improve the playoff seed they've already earned with the automatic berth.

In the end, it was heartbreak for De Anza. The Dons stood toe-to-toe with the visitors for over 70 minutes before an Alex Marques goal in the 72nd minute proved to be the decider in a 1-0 Hercules victory.

"We wanted to close the season on a high note and we want to finish league undefeated," Marques said. "This match was good for us to play at a high level and get ready for the playoffs."

It was an even game, for the most part, with each team looking dangerous in stretches.

The Titans (12-3-5, 9-0-0 TCAL) took control of the game early, and then again late, withstanding a De Anza (8-9-3, 4-2-3) surge in the middle before Marques finished a cross from Brian Vega.

The Dons in particular looked dangerous just after halftime, nearly scoring once in particular on a shot by Jose Gomez in the 44th minute that was turned away by Mariano Gil.

Hercules remained calm when De Anza made its push and eventually wrestled control away from the home side.

TCAL-Stone Hercules 1, De Anza 0

Halftime: 0-0. Scoring: Al. Marques (Vega) 72:00. Saves: Gil (H) 4, Poveda (DA) 3. Records: Hercules 12-3-5, 9-0-0 TCAL; De Anza 8-9-3, 4-2-3.



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