Region 9 girls soccer recap: Desert Hills stays atop standings, but 5 other teams have at least 4 wins

Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Sept. 17, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Since the beginning of September, when the Utah High School Activities Association first released its statewide RPI rankings for girls soccer, Region 9 players, coaches and fans have been able track their team’s progress as they aim for a favorable bracket seeding in the state playoffs next month.

Currently, No. 3 Desert Hills is the highest-ranked Region 9 team among the 21 4A schools listed in the RPI rankings, which are updated each day after games are played. The Thunder, whose record is 8-1 in region play and 8-3 overall, trail only Green Canyon and Ogden, both of whom are 9-1, in the current rankings.

Right behind Desert Hills at No. 4 is Canyon View, which lost to Snow Canyon on Tuesday this week but bounced back to defeat Cedar on Thursday. The Falcons are now 5-4 in region play. They are technically tied with both Crimson Cliffs and Pine View, but are ranked higher due to the RPI algorithm, which takes into account various factors including a team’s opponents’ won-loss record. Moving forward, the standings chart at the bottom of each St. George News weekly recap will use the RPI rankings as a tiebreaker.

Here’s a recap of this past week’s Region 9 girls soccer games:

Thursday’s games

Canyon View 2, Cedar 1

After going more than a decade without beating Cedar in girls soccer, the Canyon View Falcons are now riding a two-game winning streak over the Reds, thanks to a tight 2-1 victory Thursday afternoon at Cedar.

Canyon View at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of JR Robinson, St. George News / Cedar City News

Senior Addison Newman got the Falcons on the board with a penalty kick goal in the opening minutes. But just after halftime, Cedar’s Emily Schuh dribbled through Canyon View’s defense and make an equalizing shot.

The score stayed tied 1-1 until about 15 minutes left, when the Falcons took the lead again on a key play.

“Brylee Bergener game down on the wing, made a nice cross to Addison and she put it in the corner,” said Canyon View head coach Steven Newman, who is also Addison Newman’s father.

“And then, we just hung on for dear life,” Newman added. “It was fast. It was furious. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life.”

Ultimately, the Falcons were able to hold on for the 2-1 win against their crosstown rivals.

“It’s bittersweet because a lot of those girls I’ve coached back when they were 9 – on both teams,” he said, adding that he had a good visit with several of Cedar’s players after the game.

The victory over Cedar likely erased some of the sting of Canyon View’s shutout loss at Snow Canyon earlier in the week (see recap of that game below).

Pine View 3, Dixie 2

At Dixie, the Pine View Panthers scored three goals in the first half, then hung on to beat the Flyers. Pine View’s scorers were Brynlee Johnston, Kaitlyn Leavitt and Lena Stevens. Dixie’s goals were scored by Kimberly Morales and McKell Williams.

Desert Hills 2, Hurricane 0

Hurricane at Desert Hills, St. George, Utah, Sept. 17, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

At Desert Hills, the Thunder got second-half goals from senior Maia Parry and freshman Ellie Hendrix in a 2-0 win over the Tigers. Mikenna DeCastro picked up the shutout at goalkeeper.

We controlled the tempo of the game and possessed the ball nearly the entire game,” Desert Hills head coach Benji Nelson said. “We hit the post four times before we finally scored, but overall we played a good game against a good team.”

Nelson said he was happy with the contributions of younger players that filled in for injured teammates, including freshmen Taygen Overall and Hannah Heaton and sophomore Ally Peterson.

“I feel like we found some additional players that can give us some good minutes off the bench that will make our team stronger going forward,” he said, adding, “I don’t feel like there was one player that stood out individually tonight … the entire team played as a team and did a great job collectively, which is what we need.”

Crimson Cliffs 2, Snow Canyon 0

At Crimson Cliffs, the Mustangs were locked in a scoreless tie with the Warriors until the 65th minute, when Kenzie Palmer made an unassisted goal. Then, 10 minutes later, freshman Kenadee Richey scored on an assist from Jantzyn Losee to give Crimson Cliffs a 2-0 lead.

Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Sept. 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Stan Plewe, St. George News

Goalkeeper Ellie Nielsen earned the shutout, which Crimson Cliffs coach Andy Yergensen said was no small feat.

“Snow Canyon had opportunities to score on two through-balls, but our defense and goalkeeper Ellie Nielsen played awesome and came up big on Snow Canyon’s attacks,” he said, adding, “One play that stands out was a one-on-one halfway thru second half, when the SC player took it around the end and went on goal. She changed direction, which seemed to trick our goalkeeper, but at the last moment she lost control of the ball which rolled softly to our goalkeeper, who had ended up in a sitting position as the ball rolled to her.”

“It was a big break for sure, and we seemed to rally after that,” he said.

Tuesday’s games

Snow Canyon 4, Canyon View 0

At Snow Canyon, the Warriors saw four different players score as they rolled to a 4-0 win over the Falcons. The goal scorers for Snow Canyon were Ashlee Harris, Ashlee Nyberg, Breanna Graves and Chloe Vowell, while Emma Bingham earned the shutout at goalkeeper.

“They simply beat us in every direction,” Canyon View head coach Steven Newman said of the Warriors. “They had a great game. They outplayed us. They so deserved that win.”

Snow Canyon coach Kenny Kunde complimented Canyon View’s coach and program.

“Steve is doing some good things at Canyon View. They are a very good team,” Kunde said. “To win this game against one of the top teams in the region is a promising start to the second half of the season.”

“Our girls played a well-controlled game tonight,” Kunde added. “Emma Bingham played a fantastic game for us defensively today to help keep Canyon View off the scoreboard.”

“I am excited about how we have been progressing the last few games,” he added.”Our seniors are starting to find some rhythm and are mixing well with the younger players. If we can continue to be consistent with our effort, we should be very competitive in such a tight and tough region.”

Pine View 3, Cedar 0

Cedar at Pine View, St. George, Utah, Sept. 15, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Pine View, the Panthers scored three goals in the second half as they shut out the Cedar Reds. Cedar goalkeeper Kelsie Oldroyd stopped 20 shots during the game, but Pine View’s Brynlee Johnston managed to get two into the net, and Mairen Maclellan added a goal for the Panthers. Kayley Eaton picked up the shutout.

Desert Hills 2, Crimson Cliffs 1

In a tight game at Desert Hills, the Thunder scored the go-ahead goal in the second half and hung on to defeat the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs 2-1. Jaynee Hinton and Maia Parry each scored for the Thunder, while Crimson’s lone score was by Kate Young in the first half.

Dixie 2, Hurricane 0

At Dixie, the Flyers scored once in each half as they defeated the Tigers 2-0. Kimberly Morales scored one of Dixie’s goals, assisted by McKell Williams. Goalkeeper Katie Mills stopped 11 shots on goal in earning the shutout.

This week’s games

This coming week’s Region 9 schedule is as follows: on Tuesday, Dixie is at Cedar at 4 p.m., while the other three contests are at 7:30 p.m., namely Canyon View at Hurricane, Crimson Cliffs at Pine View and Snow Canyon at Desert Hills.  Then, on Thursday, Dixie is at Canyon View and Desert Hills is at Cedar, with both varsity games at 4 p.m. Later that evening, Snow Canyon plays at Pine View and Crimson Cliffs is at Hurricane, both at 7:30 p.m.

Region 9 girls soccer standings, as of Sept. 19 (region record, overall, RPI)

  1. Desert Hills 8-1 (8-3) 3rd in RPI rankings
  2. Canyon View 5-4 (7-4) 4th RPI
  3. Pine View 5-4 (7-4) 9th RPI
  4. Crimson Cliffs 5-4 (6-5) 11th RPI
  5. Cedar 4-5 (5-6) 13th RPI
  6. Snow Canyon 4-5 (5-6) 14th RPI
  7. Dixie 3-6 (3-9) 17th RPI
  8. Hurricane 2-7 (2-9) 19th RPI

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