Hamilton High School had a chance to sweep both the boys’ and girls’ Division I state soccer titles over the weekend. It didn’t happen, but not due to a lack of effort on the girls’ part.
The girls’ championship game lasted almost two hours as the No. 4-seeded Huskies battled No. 3 Desert Vista High to a scoreless tie through regulation…then a couple of overtime periods…and finally two more sudden-death periods before losing to the Thunder 5-3 on penalty kicks.
After failed attempts to win a championship game in 2013 and again last year, this state title becomes the first in the last 11 years for the Thunder girls’ team. And they had to get through No. 1 Xavier Prep, which they beat in the semifinals, to get the chance to bring home the hardware.
Saturday’s game was the third time this season that these two teams met, with the Huskies winning the first and Desert Vista prevailing in the second meeting.
This time, it was a freshman that secured the Thunder’s most important victory. Goal keeper Paige Sim was put in goal late in the fourth overtime period and was there to protect against the penalty kicks.
Isabella Glavin got the scoring going for DV, netting the first PK, and Isabel Deustch slammed the door shut with the final kick.
In the evening game that featured the other Hamilton High team, the boys held up their end of the attempt at a sweep, beating Gilbert High School, 2-1.
The No. 4-seeded Gilbert was the one to take out Desert Vista, squeezing out a 1-0 win over the No. 16 Thunder in Wednesday’s semis to earn its first finals berth in almost a decade. And in the title game, the Tigers held the lead throughout a good part of the second half – but couldn’t hold on to its 1-0 lead late in the game.
After Gilbert broke the scoreless tie shortly after the second half got underway, Hamilton answered with goals by Channing Chasten in the 71st minute and the game-winner by sophomore Nick Mootz with four minutes to go in regulation.
The Tigers were ‘that close’ to taking the game into overtime, where they had been successful throughout their tournament run, winning the first round with penalty kicks and then moving into the semis on a PK win. But Mootz, who his coach calls the best sophomore defender in high school, didn’t give them the chance for a third try.
For the third-seeded Hamilton boys, playing in the championship game at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert was nothing new. The Huskies have played in five of the last seven title games and won the state championship in 2012, the program’s only other out-right state title; they shared the 2004 title with Perry High.