It’s been 14 years, but Delavan-Darien High School is once again the top soccer team in the state.
On Saturday, Nov. 1, DDHS defeated Mount Horeb 3-1 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee to earn the WIAA Division 3 title (stats). The last time the Comets won a state championship was 2000, when they were the Division 2 champion.
DDHS was the Division 2 runner up in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2005.
The team finished the season 23-2-2 and had two of the most prolific goal scorers in the state in Juan “Chuy” Rocha (55 goals, most in state, most points in state with 127) and Tigrio Huerta (33 goals, seventh in state, 32 assists, most in state, and third-most points in state, 98).
To earn the state title, the Comets had by far the toughest road of any team in the Division 3 bracket. DDHS, the No. 4-ranked team at the end of the season in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll, first had to defeat East Troy in the regional semifinal. The Comets won that game easily, 10-0.
The next three matches were the tough ones. In the Regional final, DDHS defeated No. 3-ranked St. Anthony 4-1. The Comets scored a sectional semifinal win over No. 2 Catholic Memorial 4-3. In the state qualifying Sectional, DDHS got by No. 1-ranked Grafton 6-2.
At State on Thursday, Oct. 30, DDHS beat Rice Lake in the semifinals, also by a 6-2 margin (stats).
Lastly, in the finals, the high-octane offense of the Comets was too much for the defensive-minded Mount Horeb squad, which hadn’t allowed a goal in the entire post season. The Vikings (14-6-4) only had three games all season where they gave up two or more goals, and they had 12 shutouts, including playoffs.
“Chuy” Rocha got the scoring started with an unassisted goal in the 21st minute.
Tigrio Huerta then had possibly the tournament’s biggest highlight reel goal when he scored on a header less than two minutes later. Saul Rivera sent a beautiful 40-yard pass off a free kick toward the goal and Huerta headed it in just in front of the outstreatched arms of the Mount Horeb keeper.
Jose Lemus finished off the scoring for the Comets in the 34th minute off an assist from Jason Cano.
Mt. Horeb scored the game’s final goal in the 43rd minute following a rebound off a corner kick.
MORE STATE SOCCER COVERAGE
Michael Hall Freelance Photography