MACON — Thursday's Class 3A state final was a familiar situation for the Coahulla Creek High School boys soccer team.
Two years ago, the Colts played for their first state championship against Westminster Christian, but fell short.
Thursday night, against the same team, the Colts were avengers.
Coahulla Creek (17-2-2) scored two goals in overtime to dethrone three-time defending champion Westminster (14-3-4) 3-1 and claim the Class 3A boys soccer state championship, the first in school history.
“It’s just such a good feeling,” said Cohaulla Creek senior Jaime Mendiola, who scored the go-ahead goal on a penalty kick in the first overtime after regulation ended at 1-1. “To lose to them sophomore year and then have last season end because of COVID, it’s so special to win this state championship.”
Mendiola was awarded a penalty kick in overtime after being tripped up near the goal, and he took advantage, sending the ball safely into the net to break a stalemate that lasted nearly 60 minutes of game time.
“I was just thinking, it’s all on me now,” Mendiola said. “I knew I had to make it, and I did.”
In the second overtime period, Manny Arredondo scored with just 14 seconds elapsed to give Coahulla Creek the 3-1 advantage.
“The game wasn’t even over yet, and I was already crying,” an emotional Colts head coach Aurelio Jacobo said. “I’m so proud of these guys and what they did.”
Even playing a man down for the majority of the second half and overtime, the Colts were able to pull off the win. Dems Noel was shown the red card early in the second after a penalty, and Coahulla Creek played with 10 players.
The first goal of the night went to Ronaldo Medina, who sniped a shot on a free kick into the top corner of the net, past a leaping Westminster keeper.
That was 13 minutes into the contest, and Medina got called with 14 minutes left in the first half on another attempt to get in scoring position, tangling up with a Westminster defender that would fall to the ground, resulting in a yellow card.
The physical play was present all night on both sides. Several Westminster trips, elbows and slides yielded free kicks for Coahulla Creek, one resulting in the Medina goal and one the Mendiola overtime winner.
Westminster got the benefit of another yellow card on Coahulla Creek a few minutes later, and Alex Lee sent in a goal past Miguel Arredondo, who tallied six saves in the first half and 15 overall, to knot the game at 1-1.
That stalemate held through halftime and through the remainder of regulation.
Miguel Arredondo made several big saves as Westminster began to outshoot the Colts in the second half. Westminster led shots on goal 22-15 overall.
“Miguel’s worked so hard,” Jacobo said. “He didn’t want to really be in net at first, but he’s done such a great job in there.”
Once regulation did end, though, the Colts looked like the fresher team throughout the two 10-minute overtime periods.
Once Manny Arredondo’s goal gave the Colts a two-goal lead, Coahulla Creek pulled Mendiola back into a defensive position and sealed off any opportunities for a late comeback.