ST. GEORGE — The Dixie Flyers might just be peaking at the right time.
Thursday, Dixie won its fourth straight match by dominating Bear River 3-1 at Walt Brooks Stadium in the first round of the 3A State Soccer Tournament. The Flyers have allowed just one goal during the current streak, and that one came late in this game with the winner already decided.
“Every win’s a good win, but I was especially happy with this one because we showed real improvement in the one thing we have needed the most work on,” DHS coach Burt Myers said. “Winning the ball when it’s in the air is something we have been focusing on and we did a good job of that today. It’s the next step in us becoming a really good team.”
The Bears came in as the three seed from Region 11 and played Dixie to a stalemate for the first 20 minutes. Caesar Perez finally broke the scoreless tie midway through the first half by out-maneuvering a couple of defenders and beating the keeper.
A few minutes later, Konner Aitken doubled the lead by chipping one over the Bear River goalie’s head.
“Their keeper was really aggressive and Konner noticed that,” Myers said. “He was able to break free and when the keeper committed, he just chipped it over him for a goal. It was a great shot.”
Less than four minutes into the second half, Tyler Bennett turned the match into a rout with a goal, making it 3-0. With Dixie dominating possession, it was just a matter of ticking off the minutes from there on. The Bears Tanner Porter did bang one home with a couple of minutes left to avoid the shutout, but it couldn’t quell the Dixie celebration.
“I think this team is finally finding its identity,” Myers said. “Most teams do it early, but this team has taken awhile. But this is a good time to do it.”
Dixie, 12-3-2, will have to hit the road Saturday in the second round of the 3A Playoffs. The Flyers head to Payson to battle the Region 12 champion Lions.
“The game will be on grass, but most of our guys play club ball and they play on grass,” Myers said. “We don’t have a lot of time to prepare for them, but hopefully they aren’t ready for the kind of pressure we’d like to put on them. They score a lot of goals.”
Payson, 11-6, went 8-0 in region and averaged 5.4 goals per game.
The quarterfinal winners play next Friday at Alta High and then next Saturday is the state championship at Rio Tinto in Sandy.
Uintah 5, Carbon 1
Pine View 7, Grantsville 0
Cedar 1, Stansbury 0
Park City 5, North Sanpete 0
Dixie 3, Bear River 1
Payson 2, Morgan 1
Juan Diego 12, Richfield 0
Snow Canyon 2, Ben Lomond 1
- 3A soccer playoffs: Goals come in bunches for Panthers on perfect day for Region 9
- 3A State Soccer Tournament Bracket
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