Region 9 soccer recap: 2 teams pull off upsets in the 1st round, only Desert Hills advances in 2nd round of 4A tournament

Cedar at Desert Hills, Cedar City, Utah. Oct. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Three teams made it past the first round of the Class 4A girls soccer playoffs. Of the three teams that played first round games, two advanced while Canyon View lost to No. 14 Uintah. With seven teams in the second round, every Region 9 team lost except for Desert Hills, leaving the Thunder as the only team out of the region to advance on to the quarterfinals.

Wednesdays games (Second round)

No. 8 Stansbury 2, No. 9 Hurricane 0

Hurricane traveled to Stansbury where they were shutout by the Stallions. Stansbury scored a goal in both halves and won 2-0. Hurricane ends their season with a 9-7-1 overall record.

No. 4 Green Canyon 5, No. 20 Crimson Cliffs 0

After upsetting No. 13 Juan Diego, Crimson Cliffs went on the road again, this time playing against the No. 4 seed Green Canyon. The Mustangs were shut out by the 12-2-2 Wolves, but it was a close game going into the half, 1-0. Green Canyon pulled away in the second half, scoring four of their five goals. Crimson Cliffs finished the year with a 4-14 record.

No. 2 Ridgeline 6, No. 18 Dixie 1

The second seeded Ridgeline Riverhawks took down the No. 18 Dixie Flyers 6-1. Dixie was coming off a first round upset win over Ben Lomond, but the Flyers were not able to keep the momentum going as the Riverhawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the half. The Flyers broke the seal in the second half with a goal of their own, but couldn’t stop Ridgeline as they scored four more goals in the second half. Dixie ends their season with a 4-13-1 overall record.

No. 7 Sky View 5, No. 10 Pine View 0

Pine View went north to take on Sky View, and was shutout in a 5-0 loss. The Pine View Panthers finish their season with a 9-8 record.

No. 14 Uintah 1, No. 3 Snow Canyon 0

Uintah at Snow Canyon, Cedar City, Utah. Oct. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

Every seed 1-8 made it to the quarterfinals except for Snow Canyon, who was upset by No. 14 Uintah at Snow Canyon on Wednesday. Coach Kenneth Kunde summed it up as a bad game for the Warriors

“We just played bad,” Kunde said. “I have not seen us play that bad in a long long time. I don’t know if they were looking ahead to a potential game on Saturday, I don’t know.”

With the new RPI ranking, every team makes the playoffs and any team can beat another team on a given night. Kunde reminded his team of this on Tuesday at their practice.

“You’ve got to show up and play every game,” Kunde said. “We talked about that in practice yesterday. Doesn’t matter who’s seeded what, who’s ranked what, you have to show up and play, and if you don’t, bad things can happen.”

Another storyline of the game was the officiating. Supposedly one of the officials was commuting to the game and got into an accident. Normally there are three officials on the field for every soccer game, but there were only two at Snow Canyon for the game.

At one point Snow Canyon scored a goal, but had it taken away by an offsides call, which did not sit well with the players, coaches and fans.

Cedar at Desert Hills, Cedar City, Utah. Oct. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

“It’s hard to say, the fact that they had two officials for a playoff game gets me really, really fired up,” Kunde said. “I heard the third official got in an accident, but I don’t know if we even start a playoff game with two officials.”

This is one of the earliest playoff eliminations in almost a decade for Snow Canyon. It will be an important offseason for the Warriors as they will have to bounce back from this tough loss to Uintah.

“We’ve been to the semifinals like five or six years in a row,” Kunde said. “We’ll see what kind of character the girls have and how hard they want to work in the offseason to try to overcome something like this, or if they’re going to let this linger. It’ll be an interesting offseason for sure.”

After the game, Uintah head coach Joshua Reynolds called it a signature win for their program. They have developing players and have been building a program for the last couple of years.

“These seniors, when I took over the program at the end of their sophomore season, were coming off of a 1-14 season,” Reynolds said. “Really it’s just a testament to their hard work and their dedication in the program to try to make themselves better.”

Snow Canyon finished the year 12-3-2.

No. 6 Desert Hills 3, No. 11 Cedar 1

The Thunder played a home game in the second round against Region 9 foe Cedar. The Thunder won the game by a final score of 3-1.

Cedar at Desert Hills, Cedar City, Utah. Oct. 16, 2019 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

“The girls played real, real well today they battled, we just had a couple little miscues where we didn’t quite get to the ball in time, and they got to the ball before we did and scored goals,” Cedar head coach Scott Kamachi said. “It was a good game to end your season on, playing well, and we look at it as kind of beating ourselves not being beaten by anybody.”

With both teams being in the same region, they had already played each other twice during the regular season.

“Already playing Cedar twice, they were going to come in tough, we didn’t expect this was going to be easy,” Thunder head coach Benji Nelson said. “We already beat them twice, beating someone three times isn’t always easy. Our game plan was just to stick to what we do.”

Desert Hills jumped on Cedar early, getting a goal from Molly Haslem to go up 1-0 in the fourth minutes. The Thunder got another goal at the 18 minute mark from Elsie Harris, putting them up 2-0.

Cedar responded with 16 minutes left in the half, and grabbed some momentum going into the locker room at halftime.

After another early goal from the Thunder in the fifth minute of the second half, both teams would go scoreless for the rest of the game.

Cedar at Desert Hills, Cedar City, Utah. Oct. 16, 2019 | Photo by Todd Boyer, St. George News / Cedar City News

“We just had a lot of heart,” Desert Hills’ Maia Perry said. “We want to make it because we’ve had so much trial this season, we just have so much motivation to get further.”

Desert Hills had to forfeit four game due to an ineligible player but bounced back to finish tied for first in Region 9.

With Uintah upsetting Snow Canyon in the first round, the Thunder will not have to play the team they went head-to-head against for a third time. The two teams battled it out in the regular season with Desert Hills winning the first meeting (forfeited the game), and the second game resulting in a tie.

The Thunder players and fans cheered and clapped when news that Snow Canyon had lost was announced over the speakers at the field.

“Snow Canyon just gets in our heads a lot, so we weren’t that excited to play them,” Perry said. “We’re just excited we get someone new and not in our region.”

Nelso was nervous to have to play them again, but now his team will not have to.

“We match up really well together,” Nelson said. “Now it’s Uintah, so like we said earlier, it’s one game at a time, you don’t know who you’re going to get, and anybody can win.”

For the Reds, this game marked the end of their season. Their final overall record is 9-8, but coach Kamachi harped how much it means to him to be a part of his players’ lives.

“Well, don’t make me cry,” Kamachi said. “Some of those girls I’ve coached them almost year round for four years. I’m just glad I get to be a part of their lives, and see them grow and mature. It’s going to be fun to watch them as they get out of high school now and go on and do other things.”

Desert Hills will play Uintah at Desert Hills on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Saturday’s games (First round)

No. 20 Crimson Cliffs 1, No. 13 Juan Diego Catholic 1 (Mustangs win by penalty shootout)

Crimson Cliffs and Juan Diego finished regulation tied at 1-1, with both goals being scored in the second half. The Mustangs got the victory after penalty shootouts, which they won 4-3.

This was the first playoff win for the program in their very first playoff appearance.

No. 18 Dixie 1, No. 15 Ben Lomond 0

Dixie pulled off the second upset of the day against Ben Lomond, beating the higher seed by just one goal on the road.

No. 14 Uintah 2, No. 19 Canyon View 1

The Falcons were unable to get the win on the road against Uintah, losing 2-1 to end their season. The falcons finished with a 4-13 overall record.

“Tough loss,” Falcons head coach Steve Newman said. “Unitah capitalized on our mistakes and we did not capitalize on theirs. First playoff game for CVHS in quite a few years. Good learning experience for us. Overall our program is improving. We were close in every game but 1, we scored in every game, and we lost 8 games by 1 goal. The girls improved their soccer knowledge. We have developed a positive culture, and If the girls put the time in to improve in the offseason we will be on a good trajectory for continuous improvement.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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