MIDDLETON – Wood River battled poor weather, a wet field and a late deficit to win its second boys soccer state championship in school history, and first at the 4A level on Saturday.
The Wolverines beat Caldwell 2-1, scoring both of their goals in the game’s final ten minutes.
Caldwell struck first in the 50th minute. Wood River had several opportunities to knot the game up at one apiece, but just missed breaking through.
“With the wet field, they sailed a little bit wide. Their keeper also had some nice saves,” said Wood River head coach Luis Monjaras. “Our defense was good though. The only clear shot Caldwell had all game was their goal.”
Caldwell crowded its defensive side of the field in the final 20 minutes, so Wood River responded by sending its defensive midfielder and sweeper up to attack.
“We knew if we put it right in the middle, something was bound to happen with that wet field,” said Monjaras.
Junior midfielder Jovany Armenta finally broke through in the 73rd minute for the Wolverines, then freshman Audari Tamayo scored just three minutes later to secure the 4A state championship.
The Wolverines won all three of their state tournament games by identical scores of 2-1. They last captured a state championship back in 2003 at the 3A level.
“For each game, the last few minutes were holding on for our dear lives,” said Monjaras. “When we started back in August, we started as a team. When we finished today, we finished as a family.”