Through the season and state tournament the Cats had become familiar with overtime wins including two penalty shot shoot-out victories in the quarter-finals over Snow Canyon and the thriller over Highland in the semi-finals. Given the facts it was no surprise when the Cats finished the first half of its state 4A final with Mountain View tied 0-0.
“I felt we had some great shots in the first half that didn’t fall,” said Woods Cross coach Kevin Rigby. “I felt we were in a pretty good position.”
The Bruins felt the same and came out and turned the tie into a 3-0 lead before Ashton Morris’ penalty kick with 10 minutes to play put the Wildcats on the board.
The finals, a 3-1 loss, left the Cats disappointed, but not distraught.
“We had a great season,” Rigby said. “We never quit, even when the score was getting away from us. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of young men than I am right now with this team.”
“It’s been 10 years since Woods Cross played in the state finals for soccer so I’m proud that we got here,” said Wildcat Kyler Caldwell. “We worked hard all year. Wish we could have brought home the championship, but not many teams get to play in the state championship game.”
Morris, after the game ended, pushed aside his disappointment and showed the character of this team as he waved to and thanked the Woods Cross faithful who had cheered the team on for the 80 minute game.
“Our classmates and fans have been supporting us all season,” Morris said. “I wanted them to know how much we all appreciate it. It’s been a great season. This is a great experience, especially when you’re a senior, to play for your school for a state title.
“The best part of this for me was that I was able to be part of this team,” he said. “We aren’t the most talent-laden team but we have the most hustle and spirit and belief of any team out there. It has been great. This is the best group of people I’ve ever played with all through my career.
“This was just great.”