3A soccer Benjamin Franklin

The Benjamin Franklin Chargers took home the 3A girls' soccer championship Saturday over Gilbert Christian.

Delin Peterson’s pace proved too much for Gilbert Christian as the Benjamin Franklin Chargers took girls’ soccer 3A crown.

The sophomore contributed two goals and one assist as her Chargers side came back from behind to win their first state title 3-1.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Benjamin Franklin coach John Greksa said. “It’s the first one in our school’s history, so I’m so proud of these girls. Just so proud.”

After a cagey opening half-hour, Gilbert Christian broke the deadlock in the 39th minute. Benjamin Franklin had the best of the opportunities prior to that point, but Caprice Chiuchiolo’s strike from distance put the Knights ahead.

Any hope of riding that high into the half-time break was quickly dashed. Moments later, with just 15 second remaining in the half, Peterson made up for some of her earlier misses by burying an equalizer.

“Once we gave up that goal in the first half, it just basically gave them all the momentum going into the second half,” Knights coach Hector Orellana said. “I felt like they were caught off-guard by our goal, but that pretty much changed the game.”

Benjamin Franklin did bring some of that momentum in the second half, but Gilbert Christian held them off valiantly, creating a handful of chances of their own. However, it fell to a spell of three minutes, just over halfway into the second period, to prove the difference for the Chargers.

With 63 minutes on the clock, Peterson cut inside from the byline, before playing a ball across the face of goal for Izzy Lewis to tap home. Shortly after, Peterson’s pace took her past several defenders, and Selah Hommell in the Knights’ net proved no match for her shot.

“We saw that was their gameplan, just to find Delin on the side,” Orellana said. “It’s one of those things where you have to show up and win those one-on-one matchups. We did what we could, but she’s a talented player.”

It was the third time – second resulting in a goal – that a quick Peterson attack after a kick-off created a goalscoring opportunity.

“We’ve got speed on the top, on the front line there,” Greksa said. “We wanted to utilize that. We knew we could get those balls up to our forwards up there and use that speed.”

From there, there was no looking back. Benjamin Franklin worked diligently to close down Chiuchiolo and others such as Daniella Orellana, unwilling to give them enough time on the ball to find a way back into the match.

“We just had to work on keeping ourselves together and composed,” Peterson said. “We had to be careful that we didn’t just go crazy and let anything happen.”

As the final buzzer sounded, jubilation broke out among the Charger players and their traveling support. As the celebrations continued at midfield, Knights coach Orellana consoled his young squad.

“Listen to them celebrate,” he told his players. “Listen to all this. We’ll be back.”

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