Region 9 soccer: Defending-champ Flyers open league play with road win at DH

Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 10, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Desert Hills found out firsthand how hard it’s going to be to score on the Dixie Flyers this season.

dixie-smDesert-Hills-smThe defending champs shut the Thunder 2-0 out on their own field Tuesday night behind a pair of goals from Jose “Pepe” Garcia and a shutout from junior keeper Ethan Poulton.

“That’s a good region-opening win on the road against a quality team,” Dixie coach Burt Myers said. “Our goalie is really one of the best we’ve had at Dixie High School and our middle guys move the ball around really well.”

Dixie goalie Ethan Poulton (00), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 10, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie goalie Ethan Poulton (00), Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 10, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Poulton had a few impressive saves, but he acknowledges that his defense kept him out of too many tough situations.

“We’ve got a good defense,” he said. “It’s a team sport. We’re all working hard out there. We work hard in practice. Really it’s all about the team and effort.”

Poulton and his defenders got all the goals they would need in the first half. Garcia, a senior team captain, broke the scoreless tie with 13:33 left in the first half. He said the Desert Hills defense was tough, but for one brief moment, he found himself looking at an open goal.

“I couldn’t even believe it on the first one,” he said. “They just split open in the middle and I just took the shot. Alex (Green) just took that run across and they went for him.”

The Thunder got a couple of shots on goal, one of which was handled easily by Poulton, with under 10 minutes to go in the half. The other one went wide left.

Dixie's Jose "Pepe" Garcia controls the ball in front of Desert Hills' Kanon Heaton, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 10, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie’s Jose “Pepe” Garcia controls the ball in front of Desert Hills’ Kanon Heaton, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 10, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

It looked like the game was destined to go to halftime at 1-0. Dixie missed wide on a shot with 2:35 in the half and had another go with under 30 seconds to go that Desert Hills keeper Trevor Ottenschot poked away. The ball went into the corner and the DH defense seemed to relax. Enter Garcia once again. He took a centering pass, bobbled it for a second and then pounded it in the right side of the net with 1.9 seconds left in the half.

“The defense just kind of stopped,” Garcia said. “I guess they thought the time was up. Then I just saw the shot wide open and put it in. I just shot it as hard as I could to try and get it in before the two seconds were up.”

It seemed to be a real back breaker for the Thunder, who couldn’t manage much of a threat in the second half. Desert Hills’ best opportunities came off the left foot of Trevor Browning. He fired a rocket from 25 yards out at the 22:18 mark that had Poulton diving to make the save.

“I love those diving plays,” Poulton said. “They’re my favorite.”

Browning had another decent shot with 21:01 left as he fired another lefty missile goalward from about 20 yards, but the hard shot caromed off the left post. The rest of the game was spent primarily on the Dixie offensive end.

“We had some good chances to score a couple more goals, but didn’t get it done,” Myers said. “But I’m happy with the win. Desert Hills is tough and well-coached.”

Dixie, 2-1-1 overall and 1-0-0 in region, has allowed just one goal in four contests this season. The Flyers have another region game Thursday, hosting Canyon View at Walt Brooks Stadium.

Desert Hills, 3-2-0 overall, but 0-2-0 in region, plays Hunter Friday morning at Thunder Stadium.

Snow Canyon 2, Cedar 0

The Warriors improved to a perfect 5-0-0 on the season, 2-0-0 in region, with the home win Tuesday night.

snow-canyon-smcedar-smSnow Canyon has scored 33 goals in five games, although one of the goals Tuesday night came off a Cedar own-goal. Angel Muniz had the other score. Muniz, along with teammate Kevin Guevara Chillin, are the leaders in the state in goals scored with six apiece.

Snow Canyon plays Hunter Friday afternoon (3:30 p.m.) and will resume region play next Tuesday night with a home game against Pine View.

Cedar, which made it to the state title game a year ago, is 1-2-1 overall and 0-1-0 in region. The Redmen’s next action is Saturday against 5A Fremont.

Pine View 3, Canyon View 2

Easton Householder, Kaleb Dudley and Michael Cardenas all scored in the first half as the Panthers were cruising.

Pine-view-smcanyon-view-smBut things got a little tense after halftime, with the Falcons picking up goals by Brady Christensen and Juan Ruiz to make a game of it.

In the end, Pine View held on for its second region win in as many tries. The Panthers, 3-2-0 overall, host Skyline Thursday night (8 p.m.) and play their next region game next Tuesday at Snow Canyon.

Canyon View, 3-1-1 overall and 0-1-0 in region, continue region play Thursday night at Dixie.

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Posted in Canyon View, Cedar City, Desert Hills, Dixie High, Pine View, Snow Canyon, Sports, Top Sports StoriesTagged , , , , , , , , ,

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