– The Warriors returned to their winning ways in thrilling – and chilling – style Wednesday night at Bolstorff Field.
Battling a tough Grand View squad, which possessed the ball much of the night, the Waldorf men’s soccer team overcame temperatures in the 30s and the Vikings patient play to score a 1-0 victory on Athos Monteiro’s header with 1 minutes, 27 seconds left on the game-clock.
“Huge win today,” Waldorf head coach Edgar Gonzaga said. “After a tough loss to Bellevue we knew we needed to get back to winning ways.
“It was a tough match today, but they guys have been extremely disciplined with instructions and they stuck together and worked hard, so the credit is always to them.”
Waldorf (6-7-1 overall) hunkered down defensively in the first half against a Vikings team that passed adeptly, looking for the perfect scoring chance.
Grand View managed to fire a few shots at the Warrior goal, but Waldorf’s Raul Guillamon-Bejar stopped all four shots he faced in the opening 45 minutes. Guillamon-Bejar finished with six saves for his fourth shutout this season.
Meanwhile, a patient Waldorf team mustered just one shot in the first half.
But in the final 45 minutes, both teams opened up their game offensively.
The Vikings (4-8-1) had the first best chance when Aaron Williams banged a shot off the crossbar just 6 ½ minutes into the session.
Waldorf’s leading scorer, Anthonio Coletto, answered with a just-miss chance wide right in the 64th minute, and Grand View’s AJ Thompson made back-to-back saves on Coletto and Hanibal Abraha in the 80th minute to keep the game scoreless.
With temperatures nearing freezing, and overtime looming, the Warriors made a strong push in the final minutes, earning a corner kick with just under 2 minutes remaining.
Rodrigo Freitas lofted a perfect ball into the middle of the Vikings’ goal-box and 5-foot-11 Warrior defender, Monteiro, leapt about the huddle of players and headed it just under the crossbar for the game-winner.
“We found it a bit difficult in the first half, but we got a good result in the second half on a big goal by Athos,” Gonzaga said. “He’s been injured all season so it’s nice to have him back in our backline, and to get a goal in today means so much to him, so I’m very happy for him.”
The Warriors finished off their fourth victory in their last five games easily from there, not allowing a shot by Grand View in the final 87 seconds.
A win that shakes the memories of a hard-luck loss to No. 8 Bellevue on Saturday.
Back to their winning ways, the Warriors now finish off the regular season with back-to-back games with Viterbo the next two Saturday, then a rematch with Bellevue on Halloween.
“Back to work tomorrow for a big conference game on Saturday,” Gonzaga said.