SAN DIEGO — Valhalla's boys' soccer team had been to the section final twice before, but before Thursday's Division II championship, Coach George Logan told his second-seeded Norsemen that wasn't enough.
"You've tied one and you've lost one," Logan said. "You've still got to prove yourself. Play to your potential."
Valhalla did just that, defeating top-seeded Sweetwater, 2-0, in front of 1,500 at the University of San Diego.
Finally, after a 1-0 loss to San Diego in 1990 and a 1-1 tie against San Diego in 1989, this Valhalla team (20-1-2) has joined the ranks of Logan's heroes. Logan's teams are now 3-1-2 in six consecutive section final appearances.
Logan's hero Thursday was not an unlikely one. Yet he was playing his first season at Valhalla, as a senior.
Forward Sergio Uribe broke a 0-0 tie 16:40 into the second half with his 26th goal of the season. Five minutes later, he assisted on a goal by Ian Saward.
That score seemed to let the wind out of the Red Devils, who were pinned back on defense all night.
Uribe transfered to Valhalla this year after spending 1989-90 sitting the bench at El Cajon Valley.
"They didn't play me at all," Uribe said, "so I thought I'd go to Valhalla to try out."