ST. GEORGE – Stability in the Region 9 standings seems to be something that can only be dreamed of at this point. With first place Dixie having Thursday off, Snow Canyon, Hurricane, Cedar and Desert Hills were all looking to make the jump to first place as the second half of region play begins. Even just a little confidence would have been nice for them. Some teams got it, and others fell behind.
Snow Canyon 6, Pine View 0
“We needed to put some balls in the net today,” Lady Warriors coach Kenny Kunde said. “We know we have a lot of work to do, though, in the second half of region if we want an opportunity for home playoff games.”
Ashley Brindley was the star of the game, netting four goals and getting an assist as well. Brindley was also fouled in the goalie box that allowed another SC goal on a penalty kick.
Early on in the game, Brindley was having trouble finding the back of the net, sailing several shots around the goal. During the 16th minute, Brindley instead gave a great pass to Tylei Jensen, who found the back of the net for her third goal of the year.
After that, Brindley went to work. In the 33rd minute, defender Samantha Lindsey set up for a free kick 75 yards away from the Pine View goal. Lindsey was able to kick the ball down the field, where Brindley got a hold of it 10 yards from the goal. Brindley buried the breakaway for her first goal of the night.
“I saw it going and saw (my teammate) wasn’t going to get it, so I hurried and went and got it,” Brindley said.
The Lady Warriors took a 2-0 lead into halftime, but Kunde wanted to make adjustments for his team to play better.
“We noticed that we weren’t using our wings as much as we wanted to,” he said. “We weren’t trying to open that defense by getting balls wide. So, we talked a little about getting the wings involved. It paid off and we got some really good looks early in that second half.”
Brindley then used a one-minute span between the 47th and 48th minutes to score two more goals that even she was surprised went in.
“I thought both of them, just from the way they looked, were going to hit the post or just barely miss.” she said. “It went in and I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ And the second one was like 30 seconds after I did the first one, but on the other side. I was just amazed they went in.”
In the 67th minute, Lindsey threw the ball in from out of bounds toward the goal and Brindley was able to get her head on the ball. The header sailed to the back of the net to complete the offensive clinic.
“She played really well,” Kunde said. “She got really frustrated against Hurricane and started mentally checking out of the game. But today she played through it.”
Brindley agreed with her coach’s assessment.
“Last game, I was super frustrated because I didn’t finish my chances,” she said. “(But today) I just calmed down and focused and put them in the net.”
Brindley finished her night after being fouled in the goalie box. Rachel Bunting took the penalty kick and buried the goal to complete the 6-0 win.
Kunde and Brindley also tipped their hats to the way the Panthers have handled themselves this year.
“They are super positive,” Kunde said “(Coach) Sam (Johnston) has them working. They played with a lot of energy. That’s a tough, tough thing to go through that they’re going through right now. Hats off to them for working hard today.”
“You would think they would be down,” said Brindley, “But they worked really hard. They have potential. They’re really good and they work hard.”
The Lady Warriors will be in what they are calling “Hell week” on Tuesday. They will travel to Desert Hills in what could be the game of the year for Region 9.
“I know they are ready to play us,” Kunde said. “We know going to DH is always hard. Benji (Nelson) does a great job coaching over there and his girls are tough. They play physical and that sometimes takes us off our rhythm. If we can control the tempo of that game and withstand that physical play, we have a good chance to steal one on the road.”
SC, 5-2 in region, has 15 points, a couple ahead of second-place Dixie and Desert Hills. PV, 0-7 in region, hosts Dixie Tuesday.
Desert Hills 3, Cedar 1
Many did not know if there was even going to be a game. Cedar City experienced a storm earlier in the day that soaked the grass field at Cedar High School. But the weather was good enough, minus a strong wind, to play the game as scheduled.
The Thunder trailed 1-0 at halftime, before Callen Bracken tied the game in the 51st minute. The goal was Bracken’s first of the year, as well as her first time playing varsity.
Tanayia Crosby scored only a minute later for the Thunder as they took a 2-1 lead. Team captain Drew Morby came up with the dagger in the 64th minute to seal the comeback.
“In the second half, we came back and did what we’ve been doing in practice – finishing,” Thunder coach Benji Nelson said. “If we do that and not give up, we can play with anybody. I’m glad the girls stepped up. It could have gone either way and that’s a big win for region as close as we all are.”
Nelson is confident of his team in the second half of region play, saying that his Thunder are getting better with each game.
“It’s a brand-new season,” he said. “I saw our team getting better and better every single game. This is what we wanted to do. We are just fighting for a playoff spot right now. If we can finish, we can play with anybody.”
Hurricane 1, Canyon View 1 (F/2 OT)
Tylee Bulloch was able to score the goal for the Falcons in the first half.
No stats for the Tigers were reported.
Cedar @ Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Dixie @ Pine View, 7:30 p.m.
Snow Canyon @ Desert Hills, 7:30 p.m.
Region 9 Standings (Region, Points, Overall)
Snow Canyon 5-2-0, 15, 6-3-1
Dixie 4-1-1, 13, 4-3-2
Desert Hills 4-2-1, 13, 5-5-2
Cedar 4-3-0, 12, 4-7-0
Hurricane 3-1-3, 12, 5-1-3
Canyon View 1-5-1, 4, 4-5-1
Pine View 0-7-0, 0, 0-9-0
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