Prep soccer: Huge 2nd half lifts Thunder past Dixie

Desert Hills' Bryant McCoy (26), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 21, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills scored an avalanche of goals after halftime (four, to be exact) and the Thunder came out with a 4-3 victory over Dixie in the first game of region play Tuesday night at Thunder Stadium.

The Flyers led 1-0 at the half, but the hot feet of Ben Simister jump-started the Thunder offense after intermission. Simister recorded a hat trick (three goals) in the victory, while Bryant McCoy scored the other second-half goal as Desert Hills defeated Dixie for the first time since 2014. DH scored four straight goals to start the second half.

Thunder head coach Benji Nelson was happy with the win to start the season, but especially against a team that finished ahead of them last year in the final standings.

Dixie’s Sergio Diaz (11) and Desert Hills’ Ben Simister (4), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 21, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“We came out flat, like we’ve been a few times,” he said. “They scored early in the match. I think we were just nervous playing a talented team. I thought we were pretty close in the first half. In the second half, we changed our formation a little bit. We dropped Kelton Holt back with Bridger Nelson at midfield and played the ball down the wings. We were getting crosses and corners. It was a great game. Both teams are very talented.”

Dixie head coach Burt Myers was disappointed to drop to 0-1 on the season, but said there are still a lot of matches to be played, including a rematch with Desert Hills.

“It’s a long season,” Myers said. “Desert Hills protected their home turf. That’s what you’ve got do in the region, because there’s a few teams that can come in and beat you. I’m not overly concerned about what happened tonight. I think we’ll finish really strong. We’ve been here before and we’ll be fine.”

Desert Hills’ Bryant McCoy (26) and Dixie’s Jesse Wilkinson (2), Desert Hills vs. Dixie, Soccer, St. George, Utah, Mar. 21, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Although DH allowed three goals throughout the game, Nelson didn’t seem too concerned about his defense.

“They scored two goals in the last 10 minutes,” he said. “We started pulling some guys out because we were up 4-1. They snuck one in and got some energy, then got another one. It just goes to show you, you have to play hard even with a comfortable lead.”

Dixie’s Jose Morales scored two for the Flyers, while Oscar Quintero scored the third on an assist from Morales.

Myers wasn’t too disappointed with the defense, even though it allowed four goals in the second half.

“Our defense did a really good job, we just had some stupid fouls,” Myers said. “It was the set pieces and the ball was bouncing around in the box. I’m not too worried about it. We’ve got a great defense, it’s just stuff happens and it happened to us tonight.”

Next up for Desert Hills is a road trip at Tooele and Ben Lomond Friday and Saturday.

“We’re obviously going up there to win, but we’re going to hold some guys out (due to injuries), so that we’re ready for region next week,” Nelson said. “We’ve just got to come out with energy and play hard, not come out flat like we did tonight.”

Dixie will host Park City Friday at 3:30 p.m.

“We’re going to stay with what we do,” Myers said. “We’re not going to change anything big. We’ve got the right kids playing.”

Canyon View 1, Snow Canyon 0

The Warriors suffered only their second loss of the season this year with a 1-0 road defeat at CVHS.

The Falcons are now on a five-game winning streak and four-in-a-row against Region 9 opponents. CV must be itching to get back into the region to see how it fares next season.

Scott Sanders scored the lone goal in the game, and he now has four goals on the season. Keeper Matt Bench recorded his third shutout of the year.

Snow Canyon will play at Cedar Friday to start Region 9 play at 3:30 p.m.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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