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Defender Sam Naatz scored a wonder goal in the 39th minute, and Ross Terrill added a crucial second from the spot midway through the second half before Judge held on late to win its first state championship in boys soccer since 1989. As a team, the Bulldogs collectively played well in the second to emerge with the title.
1st minute: Wasatch and Judge are underway here at Rio Tinto Stadium, trading swords to determine who will be this year's 3A state champion. So much is at stake for both schools. Wasatch, under highly respected coach Dawain Wheatley, is chasing its first soccer championship in school history, while Judge is chasing its first boys soccer championship since 1989.
21th minute: Midway through the first half, scoring chances have been at a premium so far. Judge has probably had slightly more possession, but Wasatch has had perhaps the two most dangerous chances. Frankie Perez whizzed a shot from the left side just wide in the 15th minute, while Devon Hall just had his header tipped wide for a corner.
31st minute: With less than 10 minutes to go to halftime, this game remains finely balanced, as not much has separated these sides so far. Lately, Cole Pollard has been dangerous down the left-hand side for Judge, while Wasatch continues to have dangerous moments.
39th minute: GOAL JUDGE! Wow. Just wow. Judge central defender Sam Naatz just covered about 80 yards to score the goal of his life. After winning the ball deep in his own half, Naatz plays the ball ahead, and then bursts forward. His teammate's return ball is deflected and does fall fortuitously back to Naatz inside the center circle. With so much to do still, Naatz, beats multiple Wasatch defenders and dribbles to the top of the 18-yard box, where he unleashes a magnificent shot into the net.
The only thing stopping me from putting that goal in the company of Kyle Christensen's famous strike in the 2003 Class 5A championship game is that the ball was deflected back to Naatz and wasn't played cleanly to him. I don't know that Christensen's goal will ever be topped in terms of how it was scored and on what stage it was scored on, but Naatz's goal is sensational in its own right. And it's an incredible way to finish the first half, a first half that was very tight and in which both teams had their moments. Now, Judge will goes into the break up by a goal, with Wasatch facing an uphill climb in the second half.
48th minute: GOAL JUDGE! Ross Terrill converts a penalty to double Judge's lead, and the Bulldogs now stand 32 minutes away from winning a state championship. The referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot after Drew Abby is hauled down inside the box, and Terrill sends Wasatch's goalie the wrong way before firing into the net.
60th minute: With 20 huge minutes to go, Judge is doing everything it needs to do to prevent Wasatch from getting back into this game. The Bulldogs are possessing the ball well and are marking up so tight on Wasatch that the Wasps are haven't a difficult time creating any chances at all. Wasatch created a handful of opportunities in the first half, but the second half -- so far -- looks an awful lot like Judge's masterful performance over Delta in yesterday's semifinal.
78th minute: GOAL WASATCH! With two-and-a-half minutes to go, Devon Hall scores with a header to give the Wasps life with time running out.
END OF GAME
Judge survives a frantic finish to win a 3A state championship. Over the course of 80 minutes, the Bulldogs put in a very good performance to cap a stellar season with a championship trophy.
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