ST. GEORGE – It might be a new team and a new year, but the Dixie Flyers want people to know that it is the same program that won state a year ago and they plan on defending that title with all their might.
That was clearly evident as Dixie dominated the pitch most of Friday evening en route to a 1-0 win over Snow Canyon.
“We know we’ve got a target on our backs from the beginning,” Mitch Wilkinson said. “But we know what we have to do and hopefully we can stay together throughout the season and get back to Rio Tinto.”
A free kick at about the 20 minute mark of the first half was the lone goal of the game. Snow Canyon was called for a foul and Dixie coach Burt Myers had Caesar Perez take the shot amid heavy traffic.
“Caesar got that free kick outside the box and there’s nobody in the state of Utah better at placing shots than Cesar,” Myers said. “He put it right in that corner. It was a great shot.”
The frozen rope of of Perez’s right foot was a laser shot to the upper right part of the goal and Snow Canyon keeper Tyson Brough had no chance to stop it.
Meanwhile, the Dixie defense was stellar, keeping the ball in the Snow Canyon half much of the game. Midfielder Mitch Wilkinson, defender Quinn Gray and goalkeeper Tristan Cowles, all seniors, kept Snow Canyon from any serious threat, save a late-game header.
“Toward the end, they had that throw in and that led to a header and the ball just kind of went wide,” Myers said. “It went right to the last second of who won that game. It was a nailbiter.”
Cowles got his third shutout of the year, playing smart and emerging in front of the defenders at seemingly the perfect time all game.
“Region 9’s always going to be defensive matches,” Cowles said. “I just try my best to keep it out of the net because I know it could be critical.”
Despite owning a majority in possession, Dixie couldn’t ice the game with an insurance goal.
“It was anybody’s game,” Gray said. “Even if you possess the game, anything can happen in soccer.”
Dixie is now 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Region 9 action. The Flyers play next on Tuesday at Canyon View.
Snow Canyon suffers its first region loss, falling to 2-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in region play. The Warriors play at Cedar Tuesday. Dixie and Snow Canyon meet again at SCHS Apr. 16.
Videocast by Sarafina Amodt, St. George News
Pine View 2, Cedar 1 (OT)
Keith Collins and Michael Cardenas each scored for the Panthers, with Collins’ goal coming in the extra period. It is the second win in a row for PV, which improves to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in region. The Panthers host Desert Hills on Wednesday night. Cedar, 5-1-1 and 2-1, plays host to Snow Canyon Tuesday afternoon.
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