ST. GEORGE — The two defending champs are going in opposite directions.
Last year Cedar, with a team full of mostly underclassmen, made a run late in the year and captured the state championship. Meanwhile, the senior-laden 2014 Dixie team won the Region 9 title before falling to Cedar in the state semifinals.
The Lady Reds emerged as the only undefeated team left in the region, recording two goals from Nicole Jenkins, one in a tied first half and as the lone score in the second half.
Megan Giddings got the win on goal as Cedar improved to 4-0 in region and 8-2 overall. A road game a fourth-place Pine View and a home game against Dixie are all that stand in the way of a perfect first-half of the region season for the Lady Reds. Cedar has only allowed two goals in four region games.
At the same time, Dixie is struggling to find its place in the region world with a rebuilding effort underway for coach Burt Myers. The Flyers fell to 0-4 in region and 2-6 overall after Thursday night’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Pine View.
“They’re definitely in full rebuilding mode,” said Pine View coach Sam Johnston. “But you know, Dixie played hard tonight and they definitely won the second half against us. I’m just grateful we had that 2-0 lead.”
Pine View got first-half goals from Shaneice Laurenco and Kodee Bracken and pretty well dominated the opening 40 minutes. Bracken’s goal was from the left side, about 30 yards out and just cleared the outstretched hands of the Dixie goal keeper and scraped the bottom of the crossbar.
“I lost it, then battled the defender and got it back,” Bracken said. “I was about the 23-yard line (the goal is about seven yards into the football end zone) when I shot. It just went over the keeper and it just skimmed the top post and went under.”
Bracken’s goal, at 2:43 of the first half, came just 96 seconds after Laurenco’s netfinder, a rebound shot in a scrum in the goal box. The two quick strikes, along with the Panthers dominance of possession in the first half, seemed to indicate the game was headed for blowout status.
But Dixie showed a lot of fire, emerging from the locker room at halftime with an aggressive style and attitude. The Flyers dominated possession after intermission and when Kelcee Call punched in a rebound shot after a corner with 14:28 to play, things got very interesting.
“I was really embarrassed when I let that one go in, right through my legs,” said Pine View keeper Alena Lorentzen. “Things got really intense there for awhile. But I can’t say enough about the my defense and the rest of my teammates. They played great tonight.”
Lorentzen had several saves in the game’s final 10 minutes as Dixie peppered the net with shots. The last one came off of speedy striker Starlee Woodbury’s foot with 30 seconds to go. Woodbury got a good look after shaking off a defender. But this time no save was necessary as the shot sailed wide left and PV was able to run out the clock.
Pine View, 2-2 in region, is in fourth place, six points behind leader Cedar and three behind both Desert Hills and Snow Canyon.
The Warriors earned their three points Thursday night by winning at Hurricane 3-0. Jenny Stewart, Sewrena Lindsey and Mishayla Fausett all scored for the Lady Warriors, who are 4-4-2 overall.
SC got assists from Fausett, Ashley Brindley and Jacie Mooring in the win, while goalkeeper Mada Mooring picked up her third shutout of the year.
So, four games into region play and Cedar (4-0) is in first with 12 points, while DH and SC are tied for second with nine points and Pine View is solidly in fourth with six points. Hurricane and Dixie are still winless.
Next action for the region teams is Tuesday with Cedar at Pine View, Desert Hills at Snow Canyon and Hurricane at Dixie.
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