Holding off Incline takes a full tank off gas, and by the time the boys hit overtime they were running on empty.
"Everybody was just tired," head coach Royal Good said. "I think after how the game went, with losing the 2-0 lead and then having to fight to get back in it, everyone was just trying to recover and had nothing left in the tanks."
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead against Incline, but lost the Nevada Division III championship match 4-3 in overtime Saturday in Henderson, Nev. The night before, the Warriors squeaked out a 2-1 win against The Meadows in semifinals to advance.
There wasn't much time to recover between matches, but the boys still managed to take an early lead against powerhouse Incline in the finals.
"I'm very proud of the effort that they put forth to pulling Friday night and then to take the lead on Incline," Good said.
Mark Waite led the boys in the first-half charge. He collected two goals in the first 15 minutes.
The junior broke free from defenders in the first 5 minutes of the game. He went one-on-one with Incline's goalkeeper and found the back of the net to make it 1-0, Whittell.
A corner kick found Waite 10 minutes later, and he knocked in his second goal of the night.
Whittell's defense hung onto the shutout until the final two minutes of the first half when Incline popped in a goal to make it 2-1 at halftime.
"Second half we came out with a lead, but we just had a few mistakes," Good said.
The mistakes gave Incline a free kick in the 18-yard box, which they converted to tie the game 2-2.
"After that, it was just a battle to go ahead between both teams. Incline ended up getting ahead first and we had to fight to tie it up," Good said.
Waite, once again, found net for the Warriors as he completed his hat trick. The goal tied the game at 3-3 and pushed the boys into sudden death overtime.
After the hard-fought game, overtime was short lived. Incline netted the golden goal about one minute in.
It was a tough way to end an even tougher weekend.
The boys had played a similarly hard-fought game with different results the night before to earn their trip to the finals. They ground out a 2-1 win against The Meadows on Friday.
"I think as soon as the whistle blew The Meadows definitely surprise them. They almost had a goal in the first 45 seconds of the game, and that was kind of a wake up call for the boys," Good said. "That team came to play just like we did and it was not going to be an easy game."
After the close call, a defensive battle ensued. The game went into halftime 0-0.
The Meadows struck first. They served up a shot from 25 yards out that bounced in and out of the Whittell goalkeepers arms and put them up 1-0.
The Warriors then ran into a bit of luck to tie up the game.
Bryce Bronken was tripped in the goal box for a penalty kick that Spenser Buchholz put in the back of the net.
"It took quite a bit to score on that team," Good said.
There was about 5 minutes left in the game, and both teams were pushing hard to break the tie. It was Waite who did it.
Bronken passed to Waite, and with a defender on his back and a goalkeeper charging him, he took a shot and found net.
The Warriors graduate five seniors, among them starters Derek Heldt-Werle, Marshall Neil and goalkeeper Austin Neil.