Fallbrook senior Ian Winterstrom (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring the first goal in the Warriors’ Division III championship win over Patrick Henry.
To play varsity soccer for the first time as a senior, Fallbrook High’s Ian Winterstrom said he had to persevere coming into this season.
So did the Warriors on the way to their first San Diego Section championship.
Winterstrom helped lead the way in the Division III final on Saturday as he opened the scoring in the second half to trigger a 2-1 victory over Patrick Henry at Mesa College.
“It’s so great,” said Winterstrom, a JV grad who contributed five goals this season. “Our coaches (headed by Jorge Rios) just pushed us to get to this point. I’m proud of our team. We showed a lot of heart.”
To reach their first final since 2006, the third-seeded Warriors (11-10-4) prevailed on penalty kicks in each of their previous playoff encounters.
Fallbrook took control against No. 9 Patrick Henry (9-6-5) when Winterstrom tapped in a loose ball 10 minutes into the second half, and teammate Luis Velasquez added the next goal 14 minutes later.
“It’s an emotional experience, a season like this,” Velasquez said. “This was all about teamwork.”
The Patriots scored with nine minutes left on a penalty kick by Connor Keller.
Fallbrook goalkeeper Zachary Pryor made two key saves to close out the victory.