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Widefield tops Mitchell 2-1 in OT for first league title in boys' soccer
Brandon Toves felt there was something missing from his school. So he did something about it.
The Widefield senior captain scored the game-winning goal in the 4A Metro soccer championship game Friday, giving the Gladiators a 2-1 overtime victory over Mitchell and the school’s first league title in the sport.
“Looking up in the gymnasium and not seeing any banners for soccer sucks,” Toves said. “It feels great to have one now.”
Toves took a cross from Tyler White about 3 minutes into the first overtime to end a thriller of a game at Garry Berry Stadium that saw Mitchell miss several scoring chances, including a shot in overtime that bounced off the post.
Widefield (12-2-1, 8-1-1 league) took a lead in the first 3 minutes of the game when Mitchell goalie Jesus Santos couldn’t squeeze a ball and Jacob Vitalick was there to clean it up. That’s where the score remained until Jorge Contreras headed a ball in off a free kick to tie it for Mitchell about halfway through the second half.
But that wasn’t the only action in front of the net.
The Marauders (9-3-3, 7-1-2) twice challenged Widefield goalie Trevon Taylor with shots that required spectacular saves in the first half, then whiffed on an open look in the second half.
“The bottom line is we just couldn’t finish our opportunities,” coach Brett Humphrey said. “They played their guts out, Played their hearts out. Just a couple of unlucky ones, that’s all. We hit the post a couple of times. It’s a tough one.”
It was a tough one, but also a fun one.
Both schools entered the game knowing their postseason ticket had been punched. Since neither school had ever won a league soccer title, they knew the payoff would be huge.
This is the reality of the new local league configuration. In the past, teams like Widefield and Mitchell routinely watched as Air Academy, Cheyenne Mountain and Lewis-Palmer celebrated soccer titles. With those teams in a separate league, the field is more open.
Widefield was clearly elated with the result, as his teammates carried Toves off the field after the winning goal.
“I’m as happy as everyone else is,” Widefield coach Karl Anderson said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. They played their hearts out this year.”