ST. GEORGE – Tasha Kamachi scored a goal off a corner kick in the final two minutes of the first half to help lift Cedar City to a 2-1 victory over Snow Canyon on Tuesday.
The road win, along with one from Hurricane and a big home win for Desert Hills, drives home the point that the Region 9 playoff race is wide open in 2016.
All three goals in the Cedar-Snow Canyon match came before the halftime intermission and the go-ahead strike by Kamachi was a thing of beauty. She curved the corner kick untouched into the goal with 1:37 left.
“I’ve done corner kicks since I was a freshman,” said Kamachi, now a senior. “My job is to put the ball where my team can make a play. Luckily it curved in for me.”
Although the Warriors (2-1-0 in region) dominated possession most of the first half, the Lady Reds (also 2-1-0) went ahead on their second shot of the half. Julia Hunt scored with 13 minutes remaining.
Snow Canyon got the equalizer with 11 minutes left when Ashley Brindley booted in a rebound off Heidi Smith’s shot.
In the scoreless second half, goalkeepers Emily Pearson and Megan Rodgers had several nice saves. Pearson had one save in which the shot hit the crossbar and rebounded straight down. She was able to corral the ball before it crossed the goal line. She had another where she deflected the shot with her left hand at the last possible moment.
“Our keeper is in her first year of playing goalie,” noted Cedar coach Scott Kamachi. He praised her and center backs Hannah Sobel and Ellie Kucifer for their defensive play, which held the Warriors in check.
“They had several opportunities which were scary,” coach Kamachi said. “The girls did a good job. They kept their composure and should be proud of that. We put ourselves in good position with this win. No one is going to go undefeated in this region.”
Cedar is home for Desert Hills Thursday afternoon (4 p.m.), while Snow Canyon is at first-place Hurricane.
Desert Hills 3, Dixie 0
Kodee Bracken scored two goals and Makayla Lewis added another as the Thunder improved to 1-2-0 in region play. Brittany Moore got the shutout in goal. Dixie dropped to 1-1-1.
“The difference tonight was we tried to make each other look good and not try to be individuals ” said DH coach Benji Nelson. “We played like we did at the end of last year. We came together as a team, which is what we’ve been missing.”
Nelson praised the play of midfielders Brecken Daley and Drew Morby in setting up the goals in this game.
Bracken’s two goals give her a team-high six for the Thunder, who are at Cedar Thursday at 4 p.m. The shutout is the second of the year for Moore.
Dixie is at Pine View Thursday night.
Hurricane 1, Pine View 0 (2OT)
Kylee Stevens scored off her sister Shanel’s assist as the Tigers (2-0-1) edged the Panthers (0-3).
“It was really windy the first half and they penned us in,” noted Tiger coach Luke Stevens. “For most of the game they played better than we did, hitting the crossbar twice, but then they got tired and we got our second wind.”
It’s the fourth goal of the year for Kylee Stevens, and it propelled the Lady Tigers into first place in Region 9, three games into the region slate. Defense was the key.
“Our whole defensive group played solid, like they have been and our goalkeeper, Madison Branch, had a phenomenal game with four key saves,” Luke Stevens said.
The Tigers host Snow Canyon Thursday night, while Pine View will look for its first win in region with a home match vs. Dixie.
Region 9 Girls Soccer Standings (reg., pts, ovrl)
Hurricane 2-0-1, 7, 6-2-1
Snow Canyon 2-1-0, 6, 6-3-1
Cedar 2-1-0, 6, 4-3-0
Dixie 1-1-1, 4, 5-1-1
Desert Hills 1-2-0, 3, 4-3-2
Pine View 0-3-0, 0, 1-7-0
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