CHARLOTTE – The unluckiest of breaks Tuesday spoiled Polk County’s hopes of a trip to the 1A state boys soccer championship match.
Community School of Davidson got the only score of the evening on an own goal, taking a 1-0 win over the Wolverines in the 1A West Regional final at Mallard Creek High School.
The goal lifted the Spartans (22-1-2) into Saturday’s state championship match against Voyager Academy, 3-1 winners over Lejeune High School, while ending Polk County’s season at 15-11-1. The Wolverines were ever so close to making that trip instead.
“I’m super proud,” said Polk County head coach Josh Trejo. “To compete with them, them being the number one team in the state, I’m very proud.”
The Wolverines had to contend not only with a talented Spartans squad, but also the large Mallard Creek surface, its artificial turf field some 20 yards wider than that of G.M. Tennant Stadium.
Yet Polk County held its own throughout the match’s 80 minutes, largely a defensive contest in which neither team produced many shots on goal. CSD’s back line constantly thwarted Polk’s attempts to generate scoring opportunities, and the Wolverines were unable to take advantage of the few they did have.
“We had our chances,” Trejo said. “We had some unlucky breaks in the first half or we could have had two or three goals.”
The Spartans got their goal off a corner kick in the 20th minute, the entry kick glancing off the head of a Wolverine defender and looping into the net. It led to what felt like a cruel ending for a team that nearly fought through a West bracket loaded with Charlotte-area charter school programs to reach the state final.
“Hard work pays off,” Trejo said. “Just to be in the final four, I’m extremely proud.
“The kids are hurting now, but when they look back at this, they’ll be proud of how they competed and how we’ve grown from the beginning of the season to now.”