Jose Mendez idolizes Real Madrid soccer star Ronaldo. Mendez mimics Ronaldo after his goals, covering his eyes with his arm, just way the...
SUMNER — Jose Mendez idolizes Real Madrid soccer star Ronaldo. Mendez mimics Ronaldo after his goals, covering his eyes with his arm, just way the Brazilian striker does.
Mendez, a sophomore midfielder, pulled a Ronaldo in the biggest game of his life, scoring and then hiding his eyes as the Wahluke boys soccer team beat Ridgefield 1-0 at Sunset Chev Stadium yesterday to repeat as Class 2A state champion.
“Ronaldo — that’s my idol,” Mendez said in Spanish, through an interpreter, teammate Jose Rodriguez.
Mendez’s sixth goal of the season — his first as a varsity starter — came on a loose-ball deflection after an Aldo Zamora cross in the 66th minute.
Wahluke of Mattawa (19-5-0) beat the Spudders (19-2-0) for the second year in a row in the finals, both 1-0. Wahluke also beat Ridgefield in an April 1 nonleague match, 2-1 in an overtime shootout.
Wahluke outscored four state opponents 13-2 with a pair of shutouts. Last night’s win gave the school its third 2A state crown. The Warriors also won in 2000 and 2004.
“This is the youngest team I’ve ever had, with just five seniors,” Wahluke coach Tony Langdon said. “Sometimes I’m starting five sophomores, and today I started four.”
Connell 2, Port Townsend 0
The Eagles (18-6-0), who won state titles in 2002 and 2003, took third place — their fourth top-four trophy in five years.
Midfielder Tony Chairez scored in the 22nd minute on a wheel-and-fire shot that scorched into the left corner from 14 yards straight away. In the 51st minute, Rogelio Nunez scored on a twisting header from about 10 yards out. Goalkeeper Miguel Lopez earned the shutout, his 11th this season.
Port Townsend (15-5-1) made the school’s first semifinal appearance. Parents raised $12,000 last year to keep the boys soccer program, which would have been lost to school-district budget cuts. The team was 2A boys soccer’s academic state champion.