ST. GEORGE — Region 9 soccer teams went 3-0 in the state quarterfinals, including two road wins and one mercy-rule victory and has placed three teams in 3A boys soccer’s final four.
Region champion and defending state champ Dixie blasted visiting Ben Lomond, while No. 2-seeded Pine View knocked off Region 11 champ Stansbury and third-seeded Snow Canyon sent Region 12 champ Payson home without supper. Here’s a recap of the action:
Dixie 8, Ben Lomond 0
The Flyers started really slow and Scots goalkeeper Eri Estrada played great early in the game to keep the contest scoreless for nearly 20 minutes. But Dixie got it rolling in a big way in the latter part of the first half and the start of the second.
Senior Francisco Guzman finally opened the scoring with a strike at the 22:24 mark of the first half. Pepe Garcia’s shot was saved by Estrada, but the loose ball caromed to Guzman, who spun around and blasted into the right side of the net.
Tyler Bennett was the hard-luck shooter in the game for Dixie, having a couple of shots knocked away by Estrada and a couple more sail just high. Teammate McLane Keenan double the lead at the 8:29 mark of the first half with a breakaway. He beat the keeper to the right side, making 2-0. Exactly three minutes later, Keenan struck again on a rebound shot to put it at 3-0 and that would be the halftime score.
Dixie came out gangbusters in the second half. Crisp passing set up two quick goals. Tauri Morales pushed one home with 36:45 on the clock on a sly no-look back-tap that made it 4-0. Conner Beuhner followed just 36 seconds later as he out-ran the defender and beat a diving Estrada to make it 5-0.
Estrada had a couple more diving saves to try and stave off the 8-goal mercy rule, but Dixie made it 6-0 at the 17:48 mark of the second half on a tally by Garcia. At 15:58, Jonny Acosta sped past a defender and beat the keeper to make it 7-0 and the Dixie crowd began to sense the possibility of a second-straight mercy-rule win. Av’ry Green did the honors, ripping one home at 15:03 to end the game.
Keenan is up to a team-best 11 goals on the year with his two scores and Ethan Poulton picked up his fifth shutout of the year, though it was a pretty light day for the junior keeper with the Flyers dominating the possession. He had three saves.
“The defense stepped it up today,” Keenan said. “We got the shutout. There was hardly any shots on goal.”
Dixie mercy-ruled Union 9-1 on Thursday and has a 13-3-3 record on the season. The Flyers advance to the state semifinals and will play Juan Diego Friday at 4 p.m. at Alta High School. The Soaring Eagle is ranked No. 1 and has a 13-2-1 record. One common opponent between the two teams is 5A Alta. The Hawks beat both teams by identical 1-0 scores.
“It’s going to be a barn burner,” Dixie coach Burt Myers said. “It always is with Juan Diego. They have great coaching, great athletes and play good soccer. We try to emulate their program. Hopefully we’ll be with them. They are probably the top team in the state right now, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Pine View 3, Stansbury 1
Ethan Baer scored on two penalty kicks and Michael Wade converted a goal as the Panthers never trailed in the game.
Baer, a defenseman who had a PK goal Thursday night as well as a beautiful bicycle-kick save at his own goal, nailed on of the penalty kicks in the first half after a Stallions foul in the goal box. Stansbury then committed a hand-ball just a minute into the second half and Baer converted once again,making it 2-0.
The lead ballooned to three goals midway through the second half when Wade took a beautiful cross from Sergio Diaz and blasted it home on a one-touch finish.
The Stallions got on the board after Pine View was called for a foul in the box with 15 minutes left. Kaden Clements converted the PK to make it 3-1, but that’s how it would end.
“I was really proud of my two center backs, Ethan Baer and Easton Householder,” Pine View coach Sam Johnston said. “They played really well. And my central midfielders — Michael Cardenas, Abraham Cardenas and Federico Resendis — did a really good job of staying disciplined and controlling the ball.”
Pine View, 11-7-1, advances to the late semifinal Friday (6:15 p.m.) and will battle region foe Snow Canyon. Stansbury ends the season with a 9-4-1 record.
Snow Canyon 1, Payson 0
The Warriors finally broke through the scoreless tie to knock of the Lions on a goal by Kaden Wittwer. Yetzel Carrillo picked up the assist as Snow Canyon was able to win its second straight road playoff game.
Payson, the Region 12 champion, came into the contest averaging nearly three goals a game, couldn’t penetrate the Warriors defense and goalkeeper Jose Camacho. It is his sixth shutout of the season. Wittwer’s goal is his seventh of the season.
Snow Canyon, which beat Uintah 3-0 Thursday night in Vernal, improved to 15-4-0 on the season with the win and will battle Pine View at 6:15 Friday night in the semifinal at Alta High School. The two teams split two games this season, with Pine View taking a 3-1 win Mar. 18 at SC and the Warriors returning the favor with a 2-0 victory at Pine View on Apr. 17.
“They took it to us pretty good a couple of weeks ago,” Pine View’s Sam Johnston said. “We beat them earlier this season, but really, I have no idea what to expect. It should be a very tough game.”
The Lions end the season with a 9-5-2 record.
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