Region 9 soccer recap: Desert Hills clinches region title as regular season nears end

Jantzyn Losee of Crimson Cliffs prepares to kick the ball toward the goal guarded by Kelsie Oldroyd of Cedar, Cedar at Crimson Cliffs, Washington City, Utah, Sept. 29, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — The Desert Hills girls soccer team assured themselves of the Region 9 title despite going 1-1 this past week, as the Thunder remain atop the Region 9 standings with a 10-3 record in league play with one regular-season game remaining.

Meanwhile, second place could go to any one of three teams. Crimson Cliffs, Pine View and Canyon View all have a shot at the No. 2 spot, depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s games that will mark the end of the regular season.

The Utah High School Activities Association has temporarily hidden the RPI rankings, as it customarily has done for the various team sports right before the end of their regular season. They’ll be seen again when the RPI rankings are finalized and the 4A playoff bracket is revealed on Wednesday.

Of this past week’s eight Region 9 games, all were decided by two goals or less, including two that ended up tied after two overtimes and were determine by a shootout. Last Tuesday, the home teams won all four contests, while on Thursday, all four road teams were victorious.

Here’s a recap:

Tuesday’s games

Canyon View 3, Pine View 1

At Canyon View, the Falcons ended Pine View’s five-game winning streak with a 3-1 win over the Panthers. After a scoreless first half for both teams, Cassidy Cox of Canyon View took a pass from teammate Addison Newman and drilled in a shot from about 25 yards out. That score was followed about five minutes later by a 20-yard strike into the side net by Karla Borst to put the Falcons up 2-0. Pine View then got a goal from Lena Stevens to make it 2-1. However, with about eight minutes remaining, Cox fired another shot from almost the same spot as her previous goal, giving the Falcons a 3-1 lead, which proved to be the final score.

Pine View at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 29, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Pine View is a great team that knows how to win,” said Canyon View head coach Steven Newman. “We were lucky to hold on for the win.”

Crimson Cliffs 2, Cedar 1

At Crimson Cliffs, the Mustangs got goals from Jantzyn Losee and Kenadee Richey in a 2-1 win over Cedar. Emily Schuh scored the Reds’ lone goal.

Dixie 1, Desert Hills 0

At Dixie, the last-place Flyers upset region-leading Desert Hills with a 1-0 shutout victory. McKell Williams scored the only goal of the game, assisted by fellow junior Samara Sparks, during the second half. Goalkeeper Katie Mills made 11 saves and picked up the shutout for Dixie.

Snow Canyon 1, Hurricane 1 (SC wins shutout 4-2)

At Snow Canyon, the Warriors and the Tigers were tied 1-1 at halftime but didn’t score again in 60 more minutes of action, including two 10-minute sudden-death overtime periods. The teams then took turns taking penalty kicks, with Snow Canyon prevailing 4-2 in the shootout. The four Warriors who converted their PKs were Breanna Graves, Lauren Scott, Lilly Wittwer and Taylan Whitehead. Snow Canyon goalkeeper Ruth Sumner turned away two of Hurricane’s penalty kicks to secure the win.

Thursday’s games

Crimson Cliffs 1, Canyon View 0

Crimson Cliffs at Canyon View, Cedar City, Utah, Oct. 1, 2020 | Photo by London Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Canyon View, the Crimson Cliffs Mustangs prevailed in a defensive battle. The only goal of the game came with about seven minutes left in the second half, when Kenzie Palmer of the Mustangs took the ball around the right side and put the ball right in front of the goal, when it was then approached by Crimson Cliffs junior Alissa Stelter and a Canyon View defender. Both girls appeared to reach the ball almost simultaneously, and the ball ended up getting knocked into the net. However, Stelter told her coach not to credit her with the score, as she hadn’t touched the ball on the play. It therefore went into the scorebook as an own goal.

“I love her honesty,” said Crimson Cliffs coach Andy Yergensen, who added, “Canyon View increased their attack the last few minutes, but the Crimson defense held them off.” Goalkeeper Ellie Nielsen earned the shutout for the Mustangs.

Desert Hills 2, Pine View 2 (DH wins shutout 8-7)

After a scoreless first half at Pine View, the Desert Hills Thunder and the Panthers each scored twice in the second half. Neither team scored in either of the two 10-minute overtime periods, so the game was decided on a penalty kick shootout.

Both teams put all five of their first five attempts into the net. Previously, before the RPI rankings, the game would’ve been declared a tie. But with the RPI rankings instituted last year, each game needs a winner. So the penalty kicks continued into a sudden victory situation, wherein the first team to stop a shot during the same round they made one would be declared the winner.  Finally, in the 11th round, Desert Hills goalie Kenna DeCastro stopped a Pine View shot to give the Thunder the tiebreaker win.

Maia Parry and Alyssa Garr each scored once in regulation for Desert Hills, while Mairen MacLellan made both of Pine View’s goals prior to overtime.

Snow Canyon 1, Dixie 0

Snow Canyon at Dixie, St. George, Utah, Oct. 1, 2020 | Photo by Dave Larson, St. George News

At Dixie, Snow Canyon got a goal in the first half from senior Tessa Thornton, assisted by Breanna Graves. That proved to be enough as the Warriors were able to keep the Flyers off the scoreboard and hold on for the 1-0 win.

Ruth Sumner earned the shutout at goalkeeper.

Hurricane 2, Cedar 0

At Cedar, the Hurricane Tigers scored a goal in each half during a 2-0 shutout of the Reds. Tymber Oliphant made a strike in the first half for the Tigers, while Aliza Guitierez scored off an assist by Lydia Prince in the second half. Jazz Shannon earned the shutout at goalkeeper.

“She made a really good save with a couple minutes to go, which was important so Cedar didn’t pick up any confidence for the last few minutes,” Hurricane coach Craig Butcher said of Shannon.

This week’s games

This week, Tuesday’s season finale games are as follows, with all four contests scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m: Canyon View plays at Desert Hills, Cedar City is at Snow Canyon, Dixie is at Crimson Cliffs and Pine View plays at Hurricane.

Region 9 girls soccer standings, as of Oct. 3 (region record, overall)

  1. Desert Hills 10-3 (10-5)
  2. Crimson Cliffs 8-5 (9-6)
  3. (tie) Pine View 7-6 (9-6)
  4. (tie) Canyon View 7-6 (9-6)
  5. (tie) Cedar 6-7 (7-8)
  6. (tie) Snow Canyon 6-7 (7-8)
  7. Hurricane 4-9 (4-11)
  8. Dixie 4-9 (4-12)

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