Men’s soccer team makes state for the first time in school history

Mens soccer team makes state for the first time in school history

The Spring Valley High School men’s soccer team made history this season after winning the regional championship and qualifying for the state tournament for the first time in school history.

Dropping their sweat and tears across the fields during playoffs, the team defeated Durango High School (DHS) 2-1 to take home the regonial championship. 

“It was important for the entire school because we were moving back up to Division 4A, and by winning the championship the first season after moving up it proved to Las Vegas that we can compete in Division 4A and it gave the opportunity to showcase some special players that others wouldn’t know about,” said Varsity Head Coach Jay Tippett.

On November 11, the Grizzlies took on northern powerhouse Galena High School, who was on a 15-game winning streak, before losing a tough fought match that went 1-0 into overtime.

With so many accomplishments to note this season, the team is proud of their efforts and enthusiastic about their future.

“The team won the first playoff game and was followed by a second win that went in over time,” said Tippett. “It felt good to know that my name would be attached to something important that made Spring Valley sports history.”

Regionals took place on November 5 against DHS. Although Durango had already beaten the Grizzlies twice prior that season, their determination came through. As Regionals approached, they began to understand that if they put enough energy and focus in the game that they would come out with a win. The boys won the game with a score of 2-1.

Prior to regionals, the Grizzlies defeated Desert Oasis 5-1, Palo Verde 5-2, and Shadow Ridge 2-1, cementing them as the team to beat in division 4A.

“In the end, the belief in the game plan is what got them the win,” said Tippet. “Best game of the season, #SayNoMore.”

Tippett said that although the season started out rocky, it turned into a successful one.

“The main objective was to make playoffs and once we accomplished that it was to beat Palo and then winning the regional championship,” said Octavio Montenegro, Men’s Varsity soccer forward.

Last year, the team made it to playoffs but was defeated in the second round, eliminating them from state contention.  Their first playoff win was against Chaparal High School 2-0.

This year, however, there was no stopping the team in their fight to state.

“After the game, all hell broke loose,” Jorge Lopez, Men’s Varsity soccer defender, said. “All of our fans ran into the field to celebrate with us. We came to a realization that we were Regional Champs for the first time in Spring Valley history.”

Tippett said that as a coach, celebrating their win was different from being a player. While coaches typically stand on the sidelines during games, Tippett couldn’t help but join his team in celebration on the field after their win against Durango.

“It was an intense fought battle between us and Galena,” Miguel Rodriguez, Men’s Varsity soccer forward, said about the state game. “We all worked together as a team and everyone put forth their best effort and unfortunately we lost. It was a great experience and I couldn’t have asked anymore from my teammates.”