Updated November 12, 2022 - 7:28 pm
Bishop Gorman boys soccer coach Kyle McKenna expected a battle when his team faced off against Eldorado in Saturday’s Class 5A state championship game.
When Eldorado cut into Gorman’s two-goal lead late in the second half, McKenna saw his team keep its composure to close out the final minutes.
“They were fighting the entire time,” McKenna said. “The boys dug down deep. They played their roles and finished the opportunities that we created.”
The Gaels prevailed with a 2-1 victory over the Sun Devils at Coronado to claim the state title.
Gorman struck in the first half when senior defender Jordan Menor finished off a long throw-in from senior defender Bronson Rolley for a header into the back of the net.
Sophomore forward Luke Parker added an insurance goal that proved to be the game-winner in the second half. He took a pass from Rolley and maneuvered his way past the Sun Devils’ defense.
“I took a touch to the right and had that little window,” Parker said. “I shot it and bounced off a defender and just went in.”
Eldorado got on the scoreboard in the final minutes off a goal from David Figueroa. Gorman held off multiple Eldorado rallies to try and send the game into overtime.
“We came back and kept our heads up,” Parker said. “We kept playing and pushing through it.”
The postseason was eventful for the Gaels, who entered the Southern Region playoffs as the No. 5 seed. Gorman prevailed in overtime in its first two playoff wins.
In last week’s Southern Region title game against Eldorado, Gorman held on for a 1-0 victory. McKenna said the team rallied around being the underdog and used it as motivation to make its playoff run.
“The boys took it to heart,” McKenna said. “They used it as fuel to fire them up and come out and become state champions.”
Faith Lutheran 4, Green Valley 3 — At Cimarron-Memorial, Huba Hajdu and Ethan Otto each scored two goals as the Crusaders held off Green Valley to win the 4A state title.
“I’m really proud of the boys and how they played today and this whole season,” Faith Lutheran coach Cameron Merrill said. “We set really high expectations for them this year, and they met every single one of them.”
Faith Lutheran led 3-0 early in the second half, but Green Valley cut into the lead with two goals. The Crusaders responded with a fourth goal that put the game out of reach.
Goalie Tyler Vander Veldt recorded six saves for Faith Lutheran.
“We’ve learned as the season went on to focus on what we can control and prioritize how we can impact the game,” Merill said. “Even though it got close at the end, they did everything they could to hang onto the win.”