CEDAR CITY – Ready or not, the spring sports season has arrived for high school athletes in southern Utah. Dixie and Snow Canyon took a good first step forward to start spring soccer Tuesday afternoon, with the two highly-touted teams capturing season-opening victories.
Snow Canyon 8, Millard 1
Snow Canyon scored early, but Millard tied it up in the first half, which caught the Warriors by surprise.
“(Millard) came out really strong,” SC head coach Marc Wittwer said. “They caught us off guard. We scored the first goal, they scored the second goal and had us tied 1-1. They were well-coached and played us well.”
Maybe it was just first-game jitters, because SC then scored seven goals without looking back. The Warriors were led by junior Alex Tholen, who scored a hat trick (three goals).
“Alex Tholen played really well today,” Wittwer said. “He has been working really hard.”
Wittwer was pleased with the victory, but knows there’s more to be done.
“First half, we were pretty awful. Defensively, we made some mistakes,” he said. “In the second half, we were much better, but still not where we want to be.”
The other goal scorers were Luis Gamez, Max Kemp, Kaden Wittwer and Kolton Barber with a goal each. Millard also scored an own goal.
Next up for Snow Canyon is a match Friday against the 3A preseason No. 1-ranked team, Juan Diego, which is also a rematch of last year’s state championship. The kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Draper.
“We’re definitely the underdog,” Wittwer said. “We played them for the state champ last year. They’ll be ready for us. We just want to go and give it a good game and learn from the experience. We will just take it as any other game. In the preseason we want to win, but region is what matters.”
SC will then play at Provo Saturday at 1 p.m.
Dixie 3, Canyon View 0
Dixie held possession for most of the first half, but Canyon View’s defense didn’t concede a goal. It wasn’t too long before Dixie found the back of the net once the second half started, though. Dixie scored about four minutes into the second half.
“We were moving the ball well,” Dixie head coach Burt Myers said. “Our timing was better the second half. We had better camaraderie on the team. We got better cohesiveness. I was impressed with Canyon View. They’re very quick and fast. They’re a good team. Their goalie is exceptional. They had a scary shot in the second half, but our goalie, Bridger Wright, had it covered.”
Trey Hoskins, Sergio Diaz and Jose Morales all scored a goal each and led the Flyers to victory. Keeper Wright posted a shutout to start the season.
“Wright did a pretty good job, but the ball barely got to him,” Myers said. “We have basically the same defense we had last year. They’re a year older and faster. They did an extremely good job.”
Dixie will host top-ranked 4A school Maple Mountain Thursday at 4 p.m. The Flyers will then play host to Alta Friday at 3:30 p.m.
“The thing we’ve got to focus on is to make sure we know our spacing, and we know our defensive responsibilities,” Myers said. “When we get the ball, we need to know what to do with it. If we do that, we’ll be OK. That’s why we play a tough preseason.”
This week’s soccer slate:
Waterford at Pine View, 3:30 p.m.
Canyon View at Cedar, 3:30 p.m.; Maple Mt. at Dixie, 4 p.m.
Mt. Crest at Desert Hills, 8 a.m.; Alta at Dixie, 3:30 p.m.; Maple Mt. at Pine View, 4 p.m.; Snow Canyon at Juan Diego, 6 p.m.; West Jordan at Desert Hills, 7:45 p.m.
Maple Mt. at Desert Hills, 9:45 a.m.; Alta at Pine View, 11:30 a.m.; Morgan at Hurricane, 11:30 am.; Snow Canyon at Provo, 1 p.m.; Skyridge vs. Cedar (@at Desert Hills), 1:15 p.m.
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