ST. GEORGE – The final day of the regular season in boys soccer had plenty of drama. Snow Canyon needed a victory to clinch the Region 9 title outright. Dixie was hoping for a share of the title, or at the very least, a No. 2 seed and a home playoff game. And Desert Hills had to win to have a shot at a high seed headed into next week’s playoffs.
All those things came to fruition Friday night, with the Warriors grabbing their ring, the Flyers grabbing a home playoff game and the Thunder grabbing a little momentum heading into the 3A playoffs.
Here’s a look at the action:
Desert Hills 1, Cedar 0
The Thunder weren’t going to catch SC for the league title, but a No. 2 seed was up for grabs against the unpredictable Redmen. And though Dixie held on to take that second seed, Desert Hills came out strong in the second half by scoring both of its goals to take down Cedar 2-1.
Cedar’s Jaden Carver started the scoring early, but DH’s Kelton Holt scored two goals of his own to get the win.
Thunder head coach Benji Nelson wasn’t impressed with the first half.
“Obviously, the first half was ugly,” Nelson said. “We had five guys that start that were out, and so we had to have some other guys go in. I think we thought, ‘Oh, we’ve got this.’ Even though we had some guys out. We had eight guys that were bumped and bruised that didn’t practice, so we didn’t really have good practices this week. Everything we talked about is that we practice the way we play, and that’s how we came out the first half.”
Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi was disappointed because Cedar has had plenty of close losses like this one.
“Unfortunately, that’s a typical game for us,” Kamachi said. “We play really well for a half. We have the lead, then we lose the lead and end up losing the game. That’s happened a few times for us this year. We just gotta be able to play a full game and finish the game off. Unfortunately, tonight, we just made a couple of little mistakes and they ended up in goals.
The Redmen led 1-0 at the half, but Nelson wasn’t ready to let his team give up there.
“Halftime was a great opportunity to talk,” Nelson said. “The second half we discussed where we want to go from here. We had a couple of kids that left school two minutes early out of class and got in trouble. We talked about how school is number one and that no matter what in life, just one stupid mistake can cost you the game. We talked about how much we want it, because we didn’t give effort that first half.”
DH keeper Isaiah Hacker thought the game was too close for comfort, but was content with the win.
“We played a lot more physical,” he said. “They have really physical players, so we had to match that intensity, so they didn’t have many chances in the second half.”
Even with the loss, Cedar is going to the playoffs, because Dixie knocked off Pine View.
“We’re going to the playoffs, we heard Dixie beat Pine View, so we’ll travel up to Ridgeline,” Kamachi said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to go up there and play a really good team, the No. 1 team out of that region, and it’s a really good region.”
Desert Hills took third and will travel to Juan Diego. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. Thursday.
“We just got to play our game,” Nelson said. “We’re not afraid to play anyone. We’ve just got to give 80 minutes of what Desert Hills does. If we give 80 minutes of our effort and what we do best, we can beat anybody.”
Cedar will travel to Ridgeline Thursday. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m.
“We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing,” Kamachi said. “We need to work on our finish a little bit better, getting that ball out in front of the goal and being able to put it in the back of the net. It should be a game kind of like this game tonight. If you look at our record, there’s a lot of 2-1 games – Unfortunately, a lot of 2-1 games that we haven’t won. It’s the playoffs, none of that stuff matters. What matters is that we go in and play confident and have confidence in ourselves and try to get a win on Thursday.”
Dixie 1, Pine View 0
The game was tied at halftime, but Dixie’s Sergio Diaz scored the game winner to end Pine View’s playoff hopes.
Bridger Wright recorded the shutout, his fourth complete shutout of the season.
Dixie will continue its hopes for a state championship with a home match against Logan. Dixie beat Logan 5-2 earlier in the season. The first-round playoff match will start at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Snow Canyon 4, Hurricane 1
Dillon Hargis scored two goals for the Warriors, while Alex Tholen scored another and an own goal from Hurricane put Snow Canyon at four goals.
Jeff Bjarnson scored for Hurricane.
SC’s keeper, Quinn Hargis, signed with Salt Lake Community College earlier Friday and will now look to take a state championship with him.
Snow Canyon will play its first-round playoff match, a home game, against Ben Lomond Thursday at 4 p.m.
FINAL REGION 9 SOCCER STANDINGS
(team, region, points, overall)
Snow Canyon 8-0-2 (26) 12-2-2
Dixie 7-1-2 (23) 11-2-2
Desert Hills 7-3-0 (21) 11-5-0
Cedar 2-7-1 (7) 4-12-1
Pine View 2-8-0 (6) 3-12-0
Hurricane 1-8-1 (4) 3-10-1
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