Despite finishing the regular season two games under .500, the Perry boys’ soccer squad are now one game away from heading to the state tournament.

After the Bluejays (2-0) took out the Carlisle Wildcats in the first round of the Class 2A Substate 8, they took a step closer to the state tournament when they defeated Raccoon River Conference foe, the Winterset Huskies (1-1).

At the May 23 contest hosted by Earlham High School, the Bluejays avenged their April 3, 3-1 loss with a 4-1 win against the Huskies.

“Great effort by the team, I think our formation may have given them some trouble and some frustration,” head coach Gary Overla said. “We have switched to a 3-5-2 and that puts a ton of pressure on your defenders and midfielders, if you have forwards that just play with an offensive mindset.”

Perry took the early 1-0 lead when freshman Mario Saldana scored at the nine minute mark. About nine minutes later Saldana’s leg struck again to give the team a 2-0 advantage.

Up two goals with 20 minutes before the half, the Bluejays took a quick break, which according to Overla, at the time felt like the wrong move.

“At 20 minutes we took a water break, which might have been a huge mistake for us,” he said. “We let up and did not keep the pressure on them.”

The Huskies managed to cut the deficit to a single goal despite missing starter Garret Nevschemel, who received a red card.

“After the red card Winterset had to play a man down,” the head coach said. “The match was tight in the second half until Mikey Velasco scored at the 69 minute mark. We put the game on ice at 69 min with a Rudy Sarceno goal.”