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Sandy • After losing to South Summit by four goals in March, the Layton Christian Academy boys' soccer players knew they had to step up their level of play to win a state championship.
After doing so on Saturday with a 1-0 win over the Wildcats at Rio Tinto Stadium, players and coaches alike were able to celebrate the program's first Class 2A state championship.
"These kids talked to us about, 'Coach we're going to win state' this is before we ever started any practices," Layton Christian coach Chris Tatro said. "I said, 'If you guys want to win state, you've got to put in the hard work and you've got to want it more than the other team.' That's what we preached in the locker room today."
The Eagles put immediate pressure on South Summit to start the game, dominating the opening stages of the first half and breaking through in the 22nd minute.
Forward Sebastian Amengual centered a pass inside the South Summit 18-yard box, and junior forward Ryan Arevalo split the defense to reach the pass as Wildcats goalkeeper Nick Beasley closed down on him. Arevalo was able to flick a shot over Beasley's left arm for the only goal of the game.
"It was a fast-paced goal," Arevalo said. "Sebastian crossed it into the middle and I kicked it right over the keeper. It was a really fun goal."
One thing that surprised Arevalo though, was that his team didn't need another goal to hang on.
"I thought it would be a good lead, but it's a hard role to keep especially with such a good team like South Summit," he said.
Even though Layton Christian continued to control pace and possession into the second half, the South Summit offense was becoming increasingly dangerous.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes and the Wildcats pressed for an equalizer, Tatro knew his defense had the ability to hold on.
"When we play the flat four, we have a real tall, strong defense," Tatro said. "We have a lot of talented kids, but putting them on the field and in the position where they can play well with the players closest to them was key for us."
For several international players throughout the Eagles squad such as captain Fabrizio Tufano, this is why they made their way to the United States.
"I came here with a dream to win state for the first time for my school and we made it," Tufano said. "I'm so happy right now."
Since the UHSAA expanded boys' soccer to the 2A classification in 2007, squads like Rowland Hall and Waterford have won multiple state championships while other 2A competitors struggled to reach the heightened level of competition until Saturday.
"This win is huge," Tatro said. "We've been trying to get to this stage for a long time but we've fallen short many times. There's been some powerhouses in 2A for a long time that have kept us down and kept us at bay, this year we really broke out."
Layton Chr. 1, South Summit 0
R Layton Christian Academy claims its first 2A boys' soccer title.
• LCA becomes the fifth school to win the title in the 2A classification.
• LCA outshoots South Summit 32-8.