SANDY – Marshall Hunt’s first goal of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for Cedar as his strike was the catalyst that helped the Redmen put away No. 1-seed Pine View, 4-1, Friday at Alta High School. The win earns Cedar a berth in Saturday’s state championship game.
Cedar, which held a narrow 2-1 lead most of the game, avoided a flurry of shots on goal from Pine View in second half, any of which would have tied the semifinal match had it found the back of the net.
But with the clock ticking downn in the second half, Panther goalkeeper Justin Jones dived for and deflected a shot that bounced right into Hunt’s lap. With Jones out of the picture, Hunt rocketed the ball at the goal. It snuck past a Pine View defender and found home with 15 minutes to go, putting Cedar up with an intimidating 3-1 lead.
“I was playing the outside forward,” Hunt said. “The goalie came out and something happened with the ball and my teammates where the ball just kind of came out and so the goalie was out and they had two defenders in front of the goal. There wasn’t much I could do, so I just aimed for the top of the goal and it skimmed the top of his (the Pine View defender’s) head and went in.”
The Panthers, desperate for a goal, came up short in the waning minutes and gave up a final goal to Cedar’s Matt Allen in the 74th minute, which put Cedar up 4-1. The Redmen, who lost to Pine View twice in the regular season (2-1, 3-0) and slipped into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed, came up with a huge upset against PV, who came into the state tournament ranked No. 1 and as a favorite to win the title.
“That was a big win,” said Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi. “The two games we lost to them previously and them being the region champs and then we score four goals on them. You know, I thought we had it in us, but until you actually do it, it’s a little bit of a different story. We knew we could play with them and be in it, but today we did a real good job and our adjustments worked out really well.”
The Redmen jumped out to a quick lead and never trailed against Pine View. In the first 10 minutes, Brock Shipp and Michael Briano each notched a goal for Cedar and sent a message to Pine View that this match would be different than the last ones. Ultimately, however, it was Hunt, who typically is behind the scenes, that became the hero for CHS in the semifinal matchup.
“He took real good advantage of his opportunity,” Kamachi said. “He doesn’t get a lot of playing time, so with the time that he did he get, he took care of it. The first and second goals were really nice, but it’s that third goal that really changes things. You could see Pine View’s frustration level after that goal and that’s what I thought we needed to win.”
Pine View’s lone goal came at the 14th minute when Michael Wade scored from the left corner of the goal box. Pine View had three shots on goal in the 47th minute and two more shots on goal in the 57th minute, but all attempts were defended by the Redmen. Ultimately, both teams were scoreless from the 15th minute to the 65th minute when Hunt broke the silence.
Cedar, 12-6-1, advances and will play for the 3A state championship Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium against Region 9 foe Dixie.
Pine View finishes the season with a record of 14-3-2.
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