ST. GEORGE — On top of the world 90 minutes earlier, Cedar’s soccer squad climbed aboard their Iron County school bus at Pine View stunned after the Panthers 1-0 victory Thursday night.
“I just saw it coming,” Morgan said. “I went for it and hit it in the goal.
Both teams were locked in a tough defensive battle before the goal.
Pine View retained possession as the first half wound down, but were unable to capitalize on numerous available opportunities.
Cedar’s defense held strong, as it has all year, but their offense couldn’t get anything going without midfielders Lainey Carter and Dante Togisala, who sat out with injuries.
“We met up with them at a good time,” Pine View coach Sam Johnston said. “They’ve had some tough injuries. And we play better on our home field.”
The raucous home crowd certainly played a factor as the student body in attendance noisily kept their team motivated throughout the game.
“I thought Cedar had a hard time adjusting out there on our field,” Johnston said. “The intensity was there, but the game got a little ugly.”
Pine View launched onto the field in the second half and relentlessly pounded the ball at Cedar’s defenses.
Then, with 36:15 left in regulation, Kierra Stubbs was awarded a corner kick, which the talented junior placed right next to the goalkeeper. Morgan leapt out from the mob of players and batted in the shot with her head.
“We wanted to come in here and play our best,” Morgan said. “We didn’t want to think about winning. We wanted to concentrate on our fundamentals.”
For Johnston, the goal merely signaled the beginning of a long defensive battle. “Really I had about five seconds of satisfaction before I realized we still had over 30 minutes of game left to play.”
The Reds came back immediately. Ciara Robinson attempted two back-to-back shots, both turned away by Tayosha Turek.
Courtney Carpenter took a wild shot from 45-yards out with 20-minutes remaining, but couldn’t convert.
Moments later, the Reds were twice pushed back by Pine View’s defensive line and then watched Taylor Wade nearly score on the other end off another superb pass from Stubbs.
With the clock winding down, Cedar had one more opportunity to tie the game. But the Panthers held their ground and walked away with the upset.
“We’re a grind it out team,” Johnston said. “We’re not going to get blowouts this season. We just keep coming.”
The win marked Pine View’s second in Region 9 and keeps them in the hunt with seven games to go.
This was Cedar’s second loss on the season, but first to a Region 9 foe. They tied with Dixie on August 30, but had otherwise remained undefeated.
Elsewhere, Desert Hills continued its stellar play of late with a 2-1 win over Hurricane. The results of the Dixie/Snow Canyon matchup weren’t immediately available.
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