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The City Journals

Cottonwood boys soccer team wraps up season with win

May 24, 2018 01:31PM ● By Brian Shaw

Anthony Wilson takes a free kick in a region game against Brighton. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected] 

Despite a red-hot start to the 2018 soccer season, the Cottonwood Colts boys missed out on making the state playoffs.

But, some of that frustration was tempered by a nice 3-1 win to end the season over Jordan.

“Yeah, we finished with a good result against Jordan,” said head coach Dominic Militello, whose Colts were young but fought until the bitter end. 

The season appeared to be so promising initially, according to Militello. Several weeks after starting off the 2018 season with consecutive wins to open region play, Cottonwood fell off of its blistering pace to lose seven straight games. 

“It was another full season of learning lessons and figuring out who we are and who we want to be as a program,” he added.

The Colts kicked off their region slate in grand fashion with a narrow 1-0 win over Corner Canyon — one that shocked many in the soccer community. They then pulled off another unlikely victory at Timpview, prevailing in the final minutes by the score of 3-2. 

After that though, things unraveled a bit for a Cottonwood team that nobody else took for granted. 

A narrow 2-1 overtime loss to Alta at home — a match in which Cottonwood dominated much of the play — kicked off a downward spiral for the Colts.

After the heartbreaking setback to Alta, the Colts never recovered, according to Militello. Another devastating loss to Brighton, this one also at home, was another game in which Cottonwood dominated the run of play in the first half — only to falter late, succumbing two second-half goals in a 2-0 loss. 

In Militello's view, the Colts learned a hard but very valuable lesson this year.

“Building a championship program takes time, patience, commitment and resiliency. I think it is just as important for teams to learn how to lose as it is for them to learn how to win,” said the head coach. “We are just now figuring out how to lose.” 

“The next step is to figure out how to win and win consistently,” added Militello, whose team continued to lose its next five games in region play, each one coming in a more drastic and painful way.

The Colts again trotted out a young lineup this season led by Dejen Abreha and William Makoma, each of whom scored four goals to top Cottonwood.

Three others scored two goals apiece for the Colts, who despite having such an up and down year believe that their best is yet to come. 

“It is a process and one that we are committed to,” said Militello, who has now completed his second year at the helm of the Colts[LL1]  boys' soccer program and saw improvement in many areas compared to last year.  “Its not easy to change culture and develop[LL2]  talent - but we will figure it out.”