ST. GEORGE – Like the seasons of the year, sports come and go out of season seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Most of the fall sports are beginning to come to an end, and teams and fans are scrambling to transition from outdoors to indoors. With that in mind, it’s time to recap a few of the fall sports before the ink dries in the history books, and the games fade to memories.
We’ll kick things off with a look at the 2012 edition of Region 9 girls soccer.
Toughest region in 3A
Southern Utah soccer fans were treated to arguably the best girls soccer in 3A. Look no further than the final resting place of the 2012 state title trophy for proof. Snow Canyon brought the hardware back to Region 9 for the first time since 2006 and coach Ken Kunde attributed his team’s ability to compete at the state level to the level of competition in the region.
“From top to bottom, Region 9 has got to be, at least in girls soccer, one of the strongest if not the strongest region,” Kunde said. “Teams down here like Pine View, Dixie and Cedar really do a good job being competitive and preparing you for what you might see at the state level.”
A look at the final 3A standings certainly defends Region 9’s argument for being the toughest region in its classification this year. The four Region 9 state tournament teams combined for the best record (46-19-7) of any region in 3A.
Toughest Region 9 venue
So with such a competitive region schedule, where was the toughest place to play in 2012?
Kunde said it seems the region had the most trouble at Cedar.
“For us, playing at Cedar High School is tough,” Kunde said. “Cedar has a great competitive team. They play on grass where all of us play on turf. It’s kind of windy up in Cedar. That’s always one where we’re just happy if we can come away with a win.”
And once again, the region table proves the previous statement true. The Redmen were the only Region 9 team to go undefeated on its home turf in 2012.
Region 9 leaders
Soccer is obviously a team sport, but like any individual statistical category, here is where the “I” is separated from the team.
Canyon View’s Ashlee Braun led Region 9 in scoring with 14 goals on the season. Braun’s accomplishment is some consolation for the Falcons, who finished last in the region. Dixie’s Finess White finished second on the scoring list with 13 goals.
Snow Canyon’s Grace Walton led the region with 12 shutouts, adding to an already impressive 2012 resume for the Warriors. Walton’s 12 shutouts were also good enough for an overall first-place tie in 3A and tied for sixth all-time in the state of Utah for a single season. Tara Shipp finished the season with 8 shutouts for Cedar for the No. 2 spot in region shutouts.
Joining the club
With all of the punishments and forfeits lately for the use of ineligible players, it seemed only fitting for Region 9 to get in on the action. In what was perhaps the low point of the season for the region, Dixie was forced to forfeit its only region win to date for use of an ineligible player against Hurricane on August 21. Fortunately, this violation and its consequences received much less media coverage and was quickly resolved.
The Flyers were also able to overcome the early problems. Dixie got hot and ended up with a second-place finish in the region and an eventual trip to the state quarterfinals.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.