OREM Mountain View had several chances to put away Cottonwood in its quarterfinal matchup of the 4A boys state soccer tournament Friday.
But the Colts showed their resiliency by forcing two overtimes and came pretty close to pulling out the victory.
But in the end, the Bruins snuck away with the victory, winning the shootout 5-4.
"I wish we would have just won it in regulation," said Mountain View head coach Mark Graham. "We played well enough to win it. But as the game wore on, we should have put in some goals and we didn't. And then Cottonwood's confidence started to grow."
Mountain View's offense was clicking early, as the Colts struggled to find their assignments defensively. The Bruins had a five-minute span midway through the first half where they had four good opportunities near the goal. On the last of the four, they were finally able to convert as Leo Saban snuck through a few Cottonwood defenders and had his shot deflect off of one of the Colts and into the goal.
The Bruins' offense continued to threaten the Colts throughout the rest of the half.
The second half was much of the same, but Cottonwood started to build some momentum as its defense picked up. Cottonwood's senior keeper, Greg Troester, was superb as he made several diving saves and important punch-outs every time Mountain View loomed near the goal.
"(Troester) was great," Cottonwood head coach Brad Pino said. "He has a been a starter me for a few years and it will be hard to lose him."
After working hard the entire game, Cottonwood finally got the equalizer when Nelson Krogue centered the ball perfectly to Garrett Young, who found the back of the net in the 78th minute.
Two 10-minute overtimes, an assistant coach's ejection and several brutal collisions in and around the box later, the score was still tied.
Then in the shootout, Troester blocked the first shot attempted by Mountain View to give his team the early advantage. The Bruins went on to hit their next four shots and the Colts were perfect up until their last of the initial shootout, which clanked off the post and forced sudden death.
But Renzo Sanchez stepped up and knocked in the first shot of sudden death for the Bruins, and Cottonwood was unable to match it.
Ending the season in such a heartbreaker is tough for any coach, but Pino was impressed with how his team responded to the adversity to make a game out of it.
"I am proud of our guys," he said. "We started off slow this year and hit it right at the right time. That is how they played all year long. We have had to play from behind as underdogs all year."The Bruins will now move on to the semifinals of the 4A tournament.
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