Cottonwood boys soccer opens region play with two straight wins
May 09, 2018 04:46PM
By Brian Shaw
Captain Noah Boardman speaks with head coach Dominic Militello at halftime of a region game. (Travis Barton/City Journals)
By Brian Shaw | [email protected]
For the Cottonwood Colts boys soccer team, apparently one year makes all the difference. The Colts, who last year struggled in region play to the point that head coach Dominic Militello thought it appropriate to either bench or ask half of his starters to leave the team at the midway point and opt for a much younger, more spirited lineup, is beginning to watch the fruits of that painful labor pay off.
“We have been fortunate so far,” said Militello of his team, a group that, according to him, took six games this preseason to get back to the point at which they played at the closing of last year.
Cottonwood may have gone winless in its first few games of 2018, but region play has been a different story entirely. The Colts opened their region against Corner Canyon at home on April 10, winning 1-0 on a late goal from senior captain Dejen Abreha.
In the Colts next region game on April 13, they traveled south to take on Timpview. Cottonwood stormed out to a 2-0 lead before the visitors scored two goals to take the game into overtime. In the extra period, a goal from William Makoma—his second on the game—lifted the Colts to their second region win on the year.
“We have a good group this year as we knew we would,” said Militello. “They were pretty impressive last year as well.”
Before the breakthrough victory over Timpview on April 13, Cottonwood had had a winless preseason going into the start of region play. In its first three preseason games, the Colts scored just one goal, allowing five.
In its next three preseason matches, Cottonwood did score five goals, including three against Olympus—one of the best teams in the state, historically speaking. The Colts still were dealing with issues defensively, having allowed a whopping 12 goals in its final three games before region play kicked off.
Whatever issues Cottonwood seemed to have in the preseason in its back line are improving according to Militello. With games coming up against Brighton and Alta and Jordan though, the Colts know their work is hardly done to get back to the state tournament for the first time in many years.
But, winning games is a good start for any team—especially one that has struggled in years past to win matches consistently.