Dunbar Boys’ Soccer Captures Fifth State Title

Dunbar beat Covington Catholic 2-1 win their first state title since 2013.

On Oct. 30 the Dunbar Boys’ Soccer team squared off against Covington Catholic in the state championship game.

Covington Catholic came into the game with a record of 14-8-5. The Colonels entered the postseason with a record under .500 before winning 8 in a row. This means that before winning 8 games in a row, they had lost more games than they had won.

The Dawgs started the game out strong and took the lead by a score of 1-0. However they lost a man early in the first half to a red card.

Cano scored the first goal for the bulldogs on a well-timed volley from a corner kick into the box from #24 Ryan O’Hara.

The game was tight throughout the second half and it seemed unclear as to whether the Bulldogs could pull out the win.

The Dawgs’ #17 Rodrigo Romero scored a goal to get the lead back with only 6 minutes and 58 seconds left in the second half.

The Bulldogs never gave up the lead and went on to win the game by a score of 2-1. 

“We stayed confident and played our game like Coach Wray said we could do. It was a testament to our grit that we kept in the game and went on to win,” said goalkeeper John Sader.

The game also had a special meaning for the team, having lost a friend in a violent attack two days before.

Romero held off removing his jersey during the celebration to avoid getting a red card, but after the game he revealed a t-shirt underneath which he had written a tribute on. 

The shirt was a way for him to honor the loss of Dunbar sophomore Sergio Villardos. Villardos was found shot to death Thursday night.

Romero’s shirt read, “This is for Sergio Villardos , #LLS, RIP We miss you, Will always have you in our hearts.”

The win over Covington catholic gave Dunbar its fifth state title and the first one since 2013. This is also the first state title that the Bulldogs have won under head coach James Wray and they have finished with a 22-3-2 record overall.

“As only the fifth team to ever win in Dunbar’s over 30 years of soccer, it feels pretty special,” said midfielder Chandler Zhu.

Wray became the head coach last year after the departure of former head coach Todd Bretz, whom Wray had played for when he attended Dunbar. 

Winning the state title has been an amazing achievement for our team.  We began preseason back in June with the goal to give ourselves a shot at the state title. To see it come to fruition is a testament to all of the hard work the boys have put in this season and their commitment to our goal.  Adding a fifth state title for this program continues the winning tradition that started back in 1992 with our first state title,” said Wray.