Hawks Bring Home Another State Soccer Title
Alta’s Christian Bain helped lead the Hawks to a state championship
By Ron Bevan
By all accounts it could have been a throw away season for the Alta boys soccer team. With little varsity experience from the previous season, the Hawks were listed to finish with at least five losses and not make a run for the state title.
But after a near perfect season, the Hawks not only proved their detractors wrong but hoisted the state 5A title. The Hawks beat Region 2 rival Brighton, 2-1, in the title game held May 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“It was something we have wanted since we were freshmen,” said midfielder Christian Bain. “We couldn’t do it the first three years, but we focused on our senior year and accomplished our dream.”
Bain, a future commit to BYU, was the only returning starter from last year’s team. Others, such as forward Bryson Colemere and defender Michael Deleeuw, weren’t regular starters but did see action last season.
All that changed this season as a team loaded with 10 seniors banded together for one cause: the championship trophy. Bain combined with Colemer and fellow senior Daniel Tree to account for 36 goals this season.
“This is a very good group of boys, in fact an excellent group of boys,” Alta coach Lee Mitchell said. “They did everything we asked of them and they played for each other. They are exceptional human beings that happen to be great soccer players.”
Alta started the season with a run of 11 straight wins. The Hawks gave up only one goal in the first eight matches as senior goalkeeper Einer Johnson stopped all but one shot that got past his defenders.
The first blemish on the record came in the first meeting with Brighton. The April 21 game ended in a scoreless double overtime tie, perhaps foretelling the two top tier teams who would meet again at State.
But it was a 2-1 loss to Copper Hills that may have helped the team get ready for other meetings with Brighton.
“I hate to lose, but sometimes a loss can refocus you a little bit,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think we had really lost our focus, but it definitely made us hungrier.”
Alta would meet Brighton in the final regular season game May 7. The game would decide the region title and each team’s berth in the state playoffs. Alta would win that game, 3-0.
“The first time we played Brighton there was a lot of figuring out what Brighton does,” Mitchell said. “We had shots that just didn’t go in. The second game the same shots we took before were not going into the net.”
Alta would beat West 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs, then dispatch Riverton, 3-0. It took an overtime period for Alta to beat Lehi, 1-0, in the semifinals to set up the 2-1 championship game against Brighton.
“Because of the second meeting with Brighton, the boys had the confidence they could score against Brighton and they wanted the title very badly,” Mitchell said. “They had done everything throughout the season to prepare themselves to win that championship.”