Wolverines Soccer Qualifies For StateJun 16, 2016 08:44AM ● By Bryan Scott
The 2016 Wolverine soccer team won its final four games to qualify for the state tournament. Photo courtesy of Hunter High School.
By Greg James | [email protected]
The soccer cupboard is full of the right ingredients for Hunter High School. Its 2016 team has the potential to make a long run into the state playoffs.
The 2016 season has been a rocky one for the Wolverines. The mixture of a team with several talented players learning to play together and a new region affected how the season started for the Wolverines.
“We started off rough, but over the last few weeks of the season we started to find a rhythm. The boys on this team are very talented. I dare to say this is the best group Hunter has ever seen. When we play our game we play very well. If we get caught up in the outside things like the referees we do not do so well,” Hunter head coach Brett Solberg said.
They began the regular season with a 2-0 victory over West, but lost five of their next seven matches. Their only win in that stretch was a 3-0 victory over Syracuse. They also managed a 0-0 tie against Granger.
“In the new region the teams are a lot more competitive than we are used to. We did really well competing against the teams. We had a hard time closing out the early season games. It is one of those things, but we have turned things around at the end of the year,” Solberg said.
Three straight wins helped the Wolverines keep their playoff hopes alive. The turnaround started April 28 in a 2-1 victory over Layton. Alberto Maldonado and Fahot Yogol each scored in the victory. In the two following games their defense tightened up and they scored five goals; Syracuse 2-0 and Granger 3-0. In the game against Granger, the Lancers did not get a shot on goal.
Goal Keeper Justin Motzkus has notched six shut-outs, third most in the state behind Maple Mountain’s Spencer Young who has 10.
“Justin has made some big plays when we needed him to. We have loved having him back there. Our defense has also been good at helping him out. There have been times we have not really needed him because our defense has played so well,” Solberg said.
Offensively the team has had a very balanced attack, 11 players have scored. Yogol leads the team with seven goals, Markus Lovato has had six.
The Wolverines finished the season in third place, with a 6-5-1 record. Solberg finished his third year as the team’s head coach.
Their final game was a thrilling 2-0 victory over Region 2 champion Davis.
In 2015 the Wolverines beat Bingham in the first round of the state playoffs 1-0 for the second straight season. They lost in the quarterfinals 1-0 to Lehi. They have qualified for the playoffs three straight years and have won at least one game in the state tournament every year.
The state soccer playoffs were scheduled to begin May 17 (after press deadline.)