It would have been easy for Coeur d’Alene boys soccer coach Jeff Lake to be in we-were-just-happy-to-be-here mode with just two seniors on a vastly young team.
Lake wasn’t having any of it moments after Boise topped his Vikings 3-1 in the State 5A championship match Saturday morning on CdA’s home field.
Lake understood the notion. He said in time he and his players would take consolation in the sentiment.
“It’s a wonderful reward but we’re competitors and right now we’re hurting a little bit,” Lake said.
The day before, the Vikings shocked District III champion Centennial 4-3 on penalty kicks with a starting lineup consisting of one freshman, four sophomores, four juniors and seniors Austin Garitone and Justin Kofmehl.
On Saturday, an experienced Boise team physically controlled play led by savvy forwards Kaden Baratcart, Matt Ivanoff and Nicholas O’Connor.
CdA (10-2-5) had just one shot in the opening 40 minutes. Boise (16-3-1) had five but made one from Baratcart at the 15-minute mark loom large. O’Connor had the assist and he would get the assist on two others.
Six minutes into the second half, Will Slattery connected from 7 yards out. He didn’t waste any time making it 2-0 as he collected the ball and drilled it past the goalie.
The Viks felt renewed, though, when Garitone took his own rebound and scored from 4 yards away to cut Boise’s lead to one with 15 minutes remaining.
Boise responded three minutes later, seemingly taking away the Viks’ comeback hopes, when Nolan Strauss scored off a throw-in.
“The boys played well, especially on the (muddy) surface, knocking the ball around (and) just finding each other’s feet,” said 16-year Boise coach Mike Darrow, whose team captured a fifth state title under him.
Garitone summed up his team’s fortunes Saturday.
“Passes just weren’t connecting,” Garitone said. “It wasn’t really going our way today. They capitalized on their chances. Every single kid on this team has heart. These boys like to play hard.”
In the match to decide fourth place, Mountain View (14-4-3) shut out Lake City (9-9-1) 3-0.
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