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Sniezyk, Faith Lutheran top Boulder City for Southern League boys soccer tournament title

MESQUITE — Ryan Sniezyk posed for the grip-and-grin photos and celebrated briefly with his Faith Lutheran boys soccer teammates.

And then the senior forward said what he really thought about the Crusaders winning their third straight Class 3A Southern League tournament title Saturday.

“This means nothing to us right now,” he said. “It’s all about state. This is just a trophy. When we go to state, our records are 0-0.”

Sniezyk scored the 101st goal of his prep career to help top-seeded Faith Lutheran to a 2-0 win over second-seeded Boulder City at the Mesquite Sports Complex.

The Crusaders (15-0-1) already had clinched a trip to state with their 8-0 win over The Meadows on Friday. Saturday’s win means they’ll have the South’s No. 1 seed for the state tournament, which they begin against Incline on Friday in Mesquite.

Faith Lutheran will try to avoid a semifinal exit for the third year in a row.

“We have three of these,” Crusaders coach Nate Hagge said, referring to the league tournament trophy. “It doesn’t mean anything because we want that final one, so we’re kind of tired of looking at these.”

Emeron Ahmed scored on a header in the first half for the Crusaders, who got two assists from Chris Longi.

Marc Davies had three saves in the shutout.

Boulder City (8-6-2) opens the state tournament against Truckee.

“The first goal when we came up here was to get to state,” Boulder City coach David Nilsen said. “Anything beyond that was just gravy for us.”

Hagge insisted the Crusaders must play better than Saturday’s showing if they finally are to make a dent at state.

“We’re excited we won, but we know this wasn’t our best effort,” he said. “We know come next Friday, to play the North, if we come out like we did this morning, it’s not going to look pretty.”

Still, the moment Hagge and his six seniors have been waiting for finally is here.

“They’re tired of losing Friday night (at state),” Hagge said. “Their goal is to get to that final Saturday and put it all on the line because we’ve never been there. We just want that shot on Saturday morning.”

When asked how it felt to surpass 100 career goals, Sniezyk echoed his coach’s comments.

“It’s only a hundred,” he said with a smile. “I just want that state title.”

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