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  • Chad Lewis

Badgers Win SWAC Title on Last-Minute Goal


Men’s soccer team with big smiles after winning the SWAC championship. Photo courtesy of snowbadgers.com.

Our Snow Badgers men’s soccer team beat the undefeated Salt Lake Community College in a last minute goal thriller. Badgers and Bruins were tied 2-2 when Zachery Lifferth shot and scored with 23 seconds left to lift the badgers up for the win and receive the Scenic West Athletic Conference Tournament Champion title.

The Bruins had a perfect 12-0-1 record in the regular season and were ranked No. 1 team for most of the season. Until this last showdown in the SWAC region tournament that was the first badger win against the bruins since October 27, 2018. Which happens to be the game that Snow beat SLCC to win the SWAC region championship.

Snow College was able to withstand a relentless attack from the Bruins. SLCC fired 21 shots throughout the match including 13 in the second half. While the Badgers attempted 6 shots and scored 3 of them. Badger's keeper Nick McNeil was able to turn away 10 of those shots to aid in the victory. For his efforts, McNeil was named to the all-tournament team. Hugo Champalloux, Mucioko Banza, and Arthur Macri also had the honor to be named to the all-tournament team.

Champalloux started the game off giving the badgers the 1-0 lead in the 14th minute. The bruins remained scoreless until the break until they quickly scored 2 goals shocking the badgers and taking the 2-1 lead. With a corner kick attempt by the badgers that was deflected, Itsuki Matsuyama passed it to Banza who headed it in to equal the score 2-2. Lifferth saved the day by scoring his last minute goal and also scored 2 others within the tournament for 3 total goals which earned him tournament MVP.

Banza said regarding the game,” Beating SLCC felt really good and me personally it felt even better because I'm from Salt lake. The first time we played them I had a concussion and the second I didn't really play that well so for me to actually be able to play and play well against them with my teammates and to finally beat them fools felt really good.”

Snow lost to the bruins both times they've previously met this season, the first time they lost 1-0 in double overtime and the second they lost 2-0 at home. Now all of that doesn’t matter as the underdog Badgers overcame the undefeated Bruins at region to become SWAC Tournament champions. This was a huge win for this hard working team and program that will be remembered for a long time.