CEDAR CITY – It took two overtimes, but Snow Canyon finally broke the tie early in the second overtime on a goal by Max Kemp to knock off Cedar 2-1 in the Region 9 opener for both teams.
The score was tied at the half thanks to a couple of big errors on the defensive end for both teams.
“We had a lot of opportunities, they just weren’t going,” he said. “We’re happy anyway to get the win. Anytime you’re up here, they’re going to give you a tough game, and they’re a good team.”
Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi was happy with the way the team played in the loss, especially considering team leader Ethan Fletcher left with an injury in the first half after colliding with SC keeper Quinn Hargis and had to get six stitches in his chin. A little later, Cedar keeper Jake Rehkop fell hard and broke his finger on his dominant hand.
“It was a good game, we thought it was a positive,” Kamachi said. “The kid that got hurt and had six stitches is a pretty big part of our team. I thought we played well, even when we put our freshmen in. They had some chances on our goalie today, but I thought he did an excellent job today, just top notch there.”
The Redmen came out strong, keeping good possession and challenging the heart of the Warriors’ defense, but a Snow Canyon cross led to a penalty kick as opposing players collided going for the header. Kolton Barber put it away in the left corner. Cedar’s keeper, Rehkop, dove toward it, but couldn’t quite stop it.
“They definitely brought it to us at the beginning,” SC’s Kolton Barber said. “I think we were playing a little slow in the first half, and we were uphill, and the wind was against us. When you’re tired, you don’t get the ball off your feet fast enough. We were just giving up easy passes.”
A few minutes later and just before halftime, Snow Canyon’s keeper lost control of the ball and Cedar’s Abe Brower capitalized by putting it in the back of the net.
“That was a really bad error. That happens,” Wittwer said.
Snow Canyon came out strong in the second half, but couldn’t get one past Rehkop and the defense.
“In the second half, we get the wind and the slope at your back and that helps,” Wittwer said. “Just to settle the ball down and be patient was the key. We had a lot of opportunities, but we struggled to finish. We told them to settle down, play relaxed and go hard.”
Snow Canyon took a total of 30 shots, but only 11 of them were on target. Cedar took six shots, four of which were on frame.
“We had a talk during practice to gain more possession and moving the ball more,” Warrior Yetzel Carrillo said. “It was working, but our shots weren’t going in until the last one. We just got to keep working hard.”
In the first overtime period, both teams had opportunities to score, but just couldn’t finish. The second overtime started and two poor goal kicks kept the ball near Cedar’s goal until SC’s Max Kemp got one through.
“It’s just tough that we lost it, because we held on so tight with our best player getting a concussion and stitches,” Rehkop said. “I broke my finger, we were all cramping in the end, everyone was tired, but just one silly goal. It’s still a good game though. They played great.”
Snow Canyon will face Pine View next on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re still a good program. They’ll be a good team,” Wittwer said. “We only have one day to prepare for that game. Just like any other game, we’ll come out our best and hope that’s enough to do it.”
Cedar will travel to Dixie High School to take on the Flyers Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re a solid team,” Kamachi said. “There really aren’t any weak teams in our region, so it’s just a region game and you just got to prepare for it. We’ll go down there and give our best shot against Dixie.”
Dixie 1, Park City 0
Dixie’s Oscar Quintero scored the goal, while Jose “Tauri” Morales got the assist.
Bridger Wright and Kieran Atkin played a half each in the goal and split the shut out.
Dixie will play host to Cedar Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
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