ST. GEORGE — Three out of four Region 9 soccer teams won their opening round games of the 4A state playoffs Wednesday. Top-seeded Desert Hills and No. 2 seed Dixie both posted shutout victories at home, while third-seeded Snow Canyon pulled off an upset at Ben Lomond High in Ogden.
Region 9’s lone loss was No. 4 seed Cedar falling to Park City, Region 11’s top seed, by a score of 5-1.
Following are summaries of each of Wednesday’s games involving Region 9 teams. Note that the winning teams will each advance to Saturday’s second round, with the games being played at 1 p.m. on the home fields of the higher-seeded schools (upcoming matchups are listed after each game recap).
Desert Hills 2, Stansbury 0
At Desert Hills, the Thunder managed to thwart Stansbury’s tight defense with two second half goals. After 60 minutes of scoreless action, the Thunder broke the shutout with a goal by Kai Klingonsmith, assisted by Stockton Jones, with 19:53 left in the second half. Then, with 6:31 left, Will Schroeder kicked in a second goal, assisted by Ben Simister.
“Stansbury played really good defense and packed the box,” Desert Hills head coach Benji Nelson said. “They worked really hard defensively and never gave up. But, very little offense. They had two shots during the entire game, and neither were very dangerous.”
Desert Hills’ Preston Hodges earned the shutout at goalkeeper.
The Thunder will next host the Logan Grizzlies in the second round of the 4A playoffs on Saturday at 1 p.m. Logan, Region 12’s No. 2 seed, defeated Salem Hills 1-0 on Wednesday.
Dixie 3, Ogden 0
Dixie got a pair of goals from Oscar Quintero and another from Briggs McLauchlin as the No. 2 seeded Flyers defeated the Ogden Tigers 3-0.
“Ogden was very physical and quick,” Dixie head coach Burton Myers said. “Jacob Larkin made a couple huge saves when we were ahead 1-0.”
“We were able to use a number of players in the heat, and it made us stronger in the second half,” Myers added.
Dixie will next travel to the northern part of the state to face Sky View High on Saturday at 1 p.m. Sky View, Region 12’s top seed, defeated Spanish Fork 4-1 in Wednesday’s opening round.
Snow Canyon 2, Ben Lomond 1
As the final minutes of a hard-fought game ticked down, Snow Canyon and host team Ben Lomond were still deadlocked 1-1.
With the game seemingly headed toward overtime, the Scots were making a routine clearance pass in their backfield when Snow Canyon’s Cole Warner stepped up and delivered a powerful shot that found its way into the net for the game-winner.
Snow Canyon head coach Zac Hales said Warner’s dramatic kick from nearly 40 yards out came off “a great settling touch (and) curled right into the right side of the goal.”
“It was the definition of clutch,” Hales said. “Not only did he and the rest of the backline, including Karson Barber, Brett Gonzalez and Jose Molina, have an amazing day, he hit the game-winner!”
Snow Canyon’s Luis Gamez had scored the game’s first goal about 25 minutes into the first half, but Ben Lomond answered shortly after that, as Javier Villegas converted a penalty kick to make it 1-1.
That PK ended up being the only Ben Lomond shot that made it past Snow Canyon goalkeeper Livan Huerta.
“Livan had an outstanding game,” Hales said. “I was very happy with everyone. It was a great game. Both teams played very well and fought very hard, especially in the second half.”
By eliminating Ben Lomond with the upset win, No. 3 seed Snow Canyon advances to play Mountain View, Region 10’s top seed, at Mountain View High in Orem on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Park City 5, Cedar 1
At Park City, Region 11’s top-seeded Miners defeated the Cedar Redmen 5-1. Drake Olson scored the lone goal for Cedar, which finished its season with an overall record of 4-12 and a fourth-place finish in a highly competitive region.
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