ST. GEORGE – The preseason favorites are starting to emerge for Region 9 and as usual, Dixie will be right in the mix. The Flyers showed that by trouncing Logan Thursday afternoon. Another contender is Snow Canyon, though the Warriors took a loss to the larger Copper Hills Grizzlies. Cedar and Pine View also suffered losses Thursday night.
Here’s a look at the action:
Dixie 5, Logan 2
The game was sporadic throughout most of the first half, but Dixie’s Jose “Tauri” Morales found the back of the net twice in a span of 50 seconds.
“We’re trying to get our confidence back after losing to Alta,” Morales said.
Morales’ second goal came after the ball bounced off a few defenders before he controlled it about 35 yards out. He fired and the keeper didn’t see it as it went through the left corner.
“I was just going for it. I thought it was going to go over (the goal) at first, but I got the little dip on it,” Morales said. “I felt emotional. It was good.”
Dixie head coach Burt Myers was happy with the play of his junior midfielder. He joked about the fact Morales is only a junior is a “terrible problem” for Dixie to have, knowing he will be back to terrorize keepers next year also.
“We don’t have a lot of seniors, it’s kind of a young team,” Myers said.
Dixie was flying high at halftime with a 2-0 lead. But Logan wouldn’t go away that easily. Grizzly Jonny Guadarama scored two goals of his own only 57 seconds apart early in the second half.
“(I learned) that either team can score lots of goals very quick,” Myers said. “It was a back-and-forth game. It happens, soccer’s a weird animal. It’s always fun to beat another team that is going to be there in the (playoffs). It’s good to play a good quality team like Logan, because now we can see what we need to do better.”
The game looked destined to end in a draw as the clock fell under the 10-minute mark. But Dixie’s Sergio Diaz scored a goal to put Dixie ahead again. Less than two minutes later, Morales scored his third goal. But Morales wasn’t done there. He scored his fourth goal with under two minutes left in the game to seal the victory completely.
“It felt really good having the first goal up,” Morales said. “The second one, I didn’t really know about it. Then the third one was just a one-on-one, I finessed it wrong and just got the header in. (On the fourth one,) that volley was crazy. I just went for it. It just deflected off their defenders.”
It might be safe to say Dixie found confidence after a loss to 4A Alta, thanks to a fantastic game from Morales.
Myers was also happy with his defense, even with allowing two goals.
“I thought a guy that did a great job: Thayne Reid,” Myers said. “We got tied up, 2-2, and Thayne just kept pressuring the ball, just running and running, and making them make a bad pass. We were able to step into the lane, take it away, combine two or three passes, then we were in front of the goal. Exceptional hustle today, hard work. I think he was one of the keys.”
Dixie plays Copper Hills Friday at 8 a.m. at Walt Brooks Stadium.
“(Copper Hills has) a hard game at Snow Canyon tonight, and Snow Canyon is really playing top form right now,” Myers said. “It will be a good game tomorrow. We’ll be tired, they’ll be tired, and we’ll see who can last.”
Bear River 2, Cedar 1 (OT)
Cedar scored in the first half, while Bear River tied it in the second.
Bear River’s Mario Ramirez scored the game-winning goal.
Cedar will play cross-town rival Canyon View Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Canyon View 4, Pine View 0
Canyon View’s Scott Sanders scored two goals, while Jose Larios and Mark Gibson added one each.
Keeper Matt Bench kept the scorecard clean for the Falcons.
Canyon View has a chance to stretch that winning streak to three with Cedar visiting Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Falcons lost to Dixie and Cedar, but have beaten Desert Hills and now Pine View.
Pine View will host Logan Friday at 5 p.m.
Copper Hills 1, Snow Canyon 0
The win is the first of the season for the Grizzlies, while it was the first loss for the Warriors.
Aaron Nixon was the goal scorer for Copper Hills.
Next up for Snow Canyon is a match against Cyprus Saturday at 10 a.m.
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