Region 9 boys soccer: Crimson Cliffs stays atop standings with 2 more wins

ST. GEORGE — The Crimson Cliffs Mustangs stayed on top of the Region 9 boys soccer standings, winning a tight 4-3 battle Tuesday night at Dixie. Also on Tuesday, Desert Hills, Snow Canyon and Pine View all won at home. Following are short recaps of Tuesday’s action, along with that from last Thursday and Friday’s games.

Tuesday’s games

Crimson Cliffs 4, Dixie 3

Crimson Cliffs soccer at Dixie, Walt Brooks Stadium, St. George, Utah, March 30, 2021 | Photo by Rich Allen, St. George News

Capped by a penalty kick late, the Mustangs erased an early two-goal deficit against the Flyers.

Dixie scored twice within the first 10 minutes of the game. Rene Bernal broke loose down the left side and pressed middle, beating Crimson goalkeeper Jack Monson with a roller toward the middle of the net less than three minutes into the game. Denrick Tahual found space in the middle of the pitch just outside the box and found twine at the 30:02 mark. Dixie brought a 3-2 lead into the half. Ramon Mitchell Squires and Camden Squires scored in the first half for Crimson. Andy Lagomarsino assisted the first goal and Kai Klingonsmith assisted the second.

In the second, Klingonsmith knotted the game after a corner kick bounced in front of the net with an assist to Nicolas Delahunty. Ramon Mitchell Squires gave Crimson the decider on a penalty kick, shooting right down the middle as keeper Carlos Diaz dove to his left. Ramon Mitchell Squires and Tyler Moon took red cards after the goal as play got increasingly heated. Tahual also drew a red for Dixie.

Pine View 1, Hurricane 0

At Pine View, the Panthers battled the Hurricane Tigers for nearly 80 scoreless minutes before Pine View’s Austin Kogan made a hard shot off a quick transition that was deflected by the Hurricane goalkeeper, but teammate Jared Casas was there at the net to knock in the game-winner with just 15 seconds left in regulation.

Ben Beckstrand went the distance at goalkeeper to earn the shutout for Pine View, which picked up its first region win.

Snow Canyon 6, Cedar 3

At Snow Canyon, the Warriors opened up a 4-0 halftime lead on Cedar, then held on to win 6-3.

Sanders Esplin scored two goals and made three assists for Snow Canyon, while teammate Jacob Wittwer added two goals and one assist.

Desert Hills 5, Canyon View 0 

At Desert Hills, the Thunder scored twice in the first half, then added three more scores over the last 40 minutes to earn a shutout win over Canyon View.

Bridger Heaton scored four of the Thunder’s goals and assisted on the other, which was scored by Harry Echohawk.

“I feel like we’re getting better every game,” said Desert Hills coach Benji Nelson. “That’s what we need to do to be prepared to compete at the end of the season and try to make a run for the title.”

Thursday’s game

Snow Canyon 2, Pine View 0

The Warriors peppered Pine View goalkeeper Ben Beckstrand all night and controlled the game from the latter part of the first half through the end. Beckstrand stood on his head, keeping the game scoreless through the halftime buzzer as Snow Canyon found opportunities in the box all game.

Finally, Snow Canyon broke through early in the second half. Jacob Wittwer took a pass in the box from Sanders Esplin down the left wing and went bar-down, finally besting Beckstrand and needing a great shot to do it.

Shortly after, Wittwer scored again after Beckstrand had to leave the baseline and dive for a shot wide from the right corner of the goalie box, bobbling it and leaving it loose in front of the net. Wittwer scooped it up and only had a defender in between him and the net, chipping it into the left side.

Friday’s games

Desert Hills 1, Cedar 0

At Cedar, the Desert Hills Thunder scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half, when Alexis Gonzalez found the net from close range, assisted by Adam Wright. Goalkeeper Josh Greer earned the shutout for the Thunder.

Desert Hills boys soccer at Cedar, Cedar City, Utah, March 26, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St,. George News / Cedar City News

“It was a cold, windy day on a wet field,” said Desert Hills coach Benji Nelson. “It is the toughest away game of the year going to Cedar, but we played really well and were happy to come home with a victory.”

Crimson Cliffs 2, Hurricane 1

Hurricane and Crimson played through a scoreless first half despite Crimson having the Tigers pinned down in their own end for much of play in the first 40 minutes.

The Mustangs broke through in the second half after Tyler Moon found the net with an assist from Camden Squires. Nicholas Delahunty converted a corner kick from Kai Klingonsmith to make it 2-0. Kaden Hatch scored to put Hurricane on the comeback path with an assist to Yair Vega, but the Tigers got no closer.

Dixie 6, Canyon View 0

At Canyon View, the Dixie Flyers turned a close game into a rout, piling on five goals in the second half for a shutout win over the Falcons. Easton Ellett scored three goals for Dixie, while Jorge Quintero added two and Carlos Diaz picked up the shutout.

Thursday’s schedule (April 1)

  • Snow Canyon at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.

Friday’s schedule (April 2)

  • Canyon View at Cedar, 4 p.m.
  • Snow Canyon at Crimson Cliffs, 5 p.m.
  • Pine View at Dixie, 7 p.m.

Region 9 boys soccer standings, as of March 31

  1. Crimson Cliffs 6-0 (8-1)
  2. Snow Canyon 5-1 (5-2)
  3. Dixie 4-2 (4-3)
  4. Desert Hills 4-2 (4-4)
  5. Hurricane 2-4 (2-5)
  6. Cedar 1-5 (3-6)
  7. Pine View 1-5 (2-6)
  8. Canyon View 1-5 (1-5)

Cedar City News reporter JEFF RICHARDS contributed to this story.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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