High school boys soccer: 21st-seeded Fremont Silverwolves keep the magic alive by defeating Davis to advance to the 6A semifinals
When the 6A boys soccer state tournament bracket was drawn, only three teams found themselves with a lower seed than the No. 21-seeded Fremont Silverwolves.
But on Thursday afternoon, the Silverwolves became one of the four teams left standing as they beat No. 4-seeded Davis on its home field by a score of 2-1 to advance to the 6A state semifinals. The Silverwolves have now upset No. 12 Lone Peak and No. 5 Westlake, in addition to Thursday’s Davis upset, during the postseason.
More than a quarter of Fremont’s total wins this season have come in the state tournament.
“We had a rough season, obviously, but I guess you could say we’ve peaked at the right time,” Fremont senior and captain Cannon Erwin said. “All the pressure has been on the other teams. We’re coming in with a low seed and I think their expectations of us have been low.”
Erwin said that “nothing to lose” mentality has been a motivator during his team’s postseason run.
Making the upset even more significant was the fact that Davis had beaten Fremont twice during the season in region play. The Darts beat the Silverwolves 8-0 in the second meeting.
“That second game we played against Davis in the regular season was just a sheer butt—kicking,” Fremont head coach Fred Smith said. “I think that may have woken them up a bit.”
Smith also said that his young team began to play with a team-first attitude after they experienced the eight-goal defeat.
“This team is young and they’re growing,” Smith said. “They’re playing hard, which is all I can ask of them, and they’re finally starting to see the fruits of their labors. I just love this team right now. The soccer gods are smiling at us.”
Fremont’s magic from earlier upsets carried over quickly when junior forward Jerron Field slotted home the opening goal just four minutes into the game. Field received a cross into the box, which he volleyed, but the shot was saved by Davis’ Jude Walker.
The deflected save bounced right back to the feet of Field, who sent the ball into the back of the net. The goal seemed to catch the Darts, and many of the spectators, off-guard since it was the first real chance that Fremont had in the game.
“Maybe that 8-0, butt-kicking they handed us caused them to relax, but we caught them napping a little bit and we struck quickly,” Smith said.
Twenty minutes later, Fremont sophomore Tyler Ware struck a right-footed curling shot from the top of the penalty area to once again shock the Darts and make the score 2-0. Earlier in the game, Ware thought he scored the second goal in the seventh minute, but the offside flag went up.
“That second goal was amazing,” Erwin said. “I thought we had the one that was called offside, but that second goal felt amazing. It was a huge, huge pressure lifted off our shoulders.”
The Darts rallied furiously once the whistle blew to start the second half, and in the 44th minute, Davis scored off a long throw-in that traveled into the box and eventually landed at the feet of Jerick Sparrow, who got a toe to the ball and brought Davis’ deficit down to just one.
In the 55th minute, Davis’ Simon Jensen had a powerful shot on goal that was ultimately saved by Fremont keeper Dax Iverson. Iverson did fumble the ball slightly on the save, forcing a portion of the ball to creep over the goal line, but the officials ruled that the ball didn’t cross over the line entirely.
“That second goal felt amazing. It was a huge, huge pressure lifted off our shoulders.” — Fremont senior Cannon Erwin said
Davis had many other chances, but the Fremont defense ultimately held strong and hung onto their one goal advantage until the final whistle. Davis threw everything it could at the Silverwolves, especially in the final 10 minutes, but they didn’t concede.
“Those last 10 minutes there’s always a lot of pressure on the back line,” Erwin, who plays center back, said. “I was just trying my best to keep us organized and tucked-in. We just knew we couldn’t give up that goal.”
Smith couldn’t say enough of Erwin and the rest of the Fremont back line.
“They played a hell of a game,” Smith said. “Cannon really communicated and he’s really grown as a leader for the rest of the team. He’s really challenged them and the rest of the kids are listening to him, I mean, that’s all you could really want out of a captain as a coach.”
As they advance into the semifinals, the Silverwolves will once again be greeted by a fellow Region 1 foe. The state-best Weber Warriors will be the next challenge that Fremont must face.
“We’re familiar with them and they’re familiar with us. We’ve struggled with Weber so we’re just going to continue to work hard,” Smith said.
Erwin said that he and his team hope they can ride their momentum into the semifinal clash against Weber that will take place Monday at 4 p.m. at Juan Diego High School.