East Mountain’s boys soccer team brought home its first-ever postseason victory with a 2-1 win over the eighth-seeded Hatch Valley Bears last Saturday during the first round of the Class A-4A state soccer playoffs in Hatch.
It was only the second playoff appearance in school history for the boys team and its first postseason berth in seven years. The Timberwolves lost in the first round to Taos in 2009.
“The defense was outstanding,” East Mountain head coach Frank Trusiano said about the inaugural win. “We studied a lot of film and marked-up their main scorer.”
East Mountain (9-10-2) has had its ups and downs and previously lost to Hatch twice this season. But the No. 9 T’Wolves kept the Bears on their heels for much of the game.
“We had a game plan, we attacked very fast down the middle, and we had them reeling,” Trusiano said.
Noah Gildersleeve’s header into the goal following an indirect free kick in the 33rd minute gave the T’Wolves a 1-0 first-half lead. The score remained 1-0 at halftime.
After the Bears tied the score 1-1 in the second half, Ethan Wagener’s game-winning goal in the 72nd minute cemented the epic victory for the T’Wolves. “It’s quite an achievement for the school and our program,” Trusiano said.
East Mountain advances to its first-ever state quarterfinals Thursday to play the top-ranked Hope Christian Huskies.