Boys Soccer: Salpointe beat Prescott 2-1 to win 4A State Championship
February 19, 2019 by Andy Morales, AZPreps365
The numbers don’t jump off the page. The stats appear to be from an average team with 18 wins, five losses and two ties. Nothing too remarkable. But, as Salpointe head coach Wolfgang Weber believes, the numbers tell the story of a team, not individuals, and teams win championships.
Weber guided No. 1 Salpointe to the 4A state championship Tuesday night over No. 6 Prescott, 2-1. It was a cold night at Gilbert Williams Field, with the temperature dropping from 55 degrees at the opening kick to a chilly 40 degrees at the buzzer, but the play on the field remained heated until the trophy was raised.
“This team is different because there are no guys with 30 goals, just a team effort,” Weber said. “You saw us from the beginning and we grew a lot. It was amazing to see.”
True, his team may not have players with gaudy stats, but he does have senior midfielder Alfonso Cabrera. Cabrera had 15 goals coming into the final and he walked away from his career with 16 thanks to a PK in the first 35 seconds of the match to put the Lancers up 1-0.
15 of Cabrera’s goals have come since Jan. 22 and seven came in the playoffs, including a hat trick against No. 16 Deer Valley in the opening round. He has had one of the best three weeks in the state.
The lead held up until Fernando Rodriguez tied things up in the 36th minute. Prescott (16-4) is senior dominated with 15 listed on the Badger roster and Rodriguez is one of them. Rodriguez is also part of a group that took a program from a No. 67 ranking in 2015 to the first championship match in school history and the change came with addition of second-year coach Philip Reid.
“Last year was my first year with them and I redesigned the program and it took a lot of hard work,” Reid said. “I would attribute all the success from the support from the community, the administration and the alumni. I will remember how much these guys love their school and how they did this for their teammates.”
When you talk about stats you have to take a look at the assists and no one on the Lancer roster did that better than senior Francisco “Este” Manzo. With 16 assists, the midfielder is by far the team leader in that category but he also picked up his 10th goal of the year thanks to game-winner in the 45th minute.
The final 35 minutes played with the emotions of the fans with near misses and not so near misses that still drew gasps from the stands. But misses are still misses and the Lancers held on for the seventh title in school history.
With the championship, Weber joins former Catalina Foothills girl’s coach Charlie Kendrick with seven trophies from Southern Arizona:
1985: 5A (Wolfgang Weber)
1986: 5A (Wolfgang Weber)
1996: 5A (Wolfgang Weber)
2004: 5A (Wolfgang Weber)
2012: D-II (Wolfgang Weber)
2013: D-II (Wolfgang Weber)
2019: 4A (Wolfgang Weber)
Prescott (Andy Morales/AZPreps365.com)