ST. GEORGE – We are almost to the halfway point of Region 9 soccer. Teams are still fighting for positions each night. With Snow Canyon’s loss on Tuesday to Dixie, the race for the league title is wide open. Dixie and Hurricane are coming in hot, with Desert Hills not far behind. Cedar is showing potential, while Canyon View and Pine View are still looking for their first wins in region play. With all that in mind, here is a recap of Thursday night’s action:
Dixie 1, Desert Hills 0
Jessica Vasquez scored the only goal of the game in the third minute to help the Flyers beat the Thunder, and take over the Region 9 lead, one point ahead of Snow Canyon. Mashaun Estridge recorded the shutout between the posts for Dixie, the sixth of her career.
“It’s awesome. This is where we wanted to be,” Flyers head coach Sam Gibbs said. “We’ve been telling the girls that they can get there if they just take it one game at a time”
Vasquez was able to get her goal when one Thunder defender tipped the ball up. Vasquez lined up the one touch shot and buried it.
“We should have headed that ball out,” Thunder coach Benji Nelson said. “But we played more of an 80-minute game today than we have. That was probably the best game of playing the whole game that we’ve played.”
The Thunder defense was able to stop every Flyers attack throughout the rest of the game.
“We’ve got five or six defenders that we can put in that will defend,” Nelson said. “I thought that even tonight, with the girls that are really good, they didn’t get any offense tonight. We just haven’t got the lucky bounces yet.”
Gibbs said Dixie didn’t play its best, but still managed to prevail.
“It was kind of ugly soccer,” he said. “But we’ll take the win. I don’t think we played our best soccer tonight. But I’ll take it.”
Finishing off plays is the big concern for Desert Hills.
“Our biggest challenge is learning how to score goals,” Nelson said. “But, if that’s what (we) have to keep working on in practice, we’ll get better and better.”
The Thunder had 18 shots on goal throughout the game, but none could find the mark..
During the second half, the D-Hills had a header go past the goalie for the tying score, but the Thunder were called for a questionable offsides that took the goal away.
“That was a huge relief,” Gibbs said. “We’ve had trouble marking right in front of the net. She was open, but happened to be offside.”
Flyer’s defender Delany Story also kept the Thunder from converting on their shots.
“She’s the core of our defense,” Gibbs said. “I can count on her to do anything I need. She’s played every minute the whole season. I don’t ever take her off.”
Story said it’s all about trust.
“I just make sure that no one can get the ball in the goal,” she said. “I’ve got to do whatever I can. It’s a nice feeling to know that (Gibbs) trusts me back there.”
Dixie, 4-0-1 in region, is a point ahead of Snow Canyon. DH drops to fifth place with the loss. Dixie hosts Cedar Tuesday and DH is home for Canyon View.
Canyon View 6, Pine View 2
Ashlie Olenslager started the scoring in the 19th minute after Morgan Haag had a shot blocked by the Panthers’ keeper. Olenslager rebounded the ball and put it through the net.
The Panthers answered quickly, scoring only seconds later.
Falcons’ wing Mia Smith was able to put her team up 2-1 after scoring on an assist from Haag.
Haag seemed to be injured at the end of the half, but came in at the start of the second half and scored around two defenders in the 44th minute. Haag was later injured again with a sprained ankle and did not play the rest of the game.
Baeli Cox scored in the 47th minute for the Falcons, taking the ball coast-to-coast for the uncontested goal.
The craziest goal of the game came from goalie Jessica Hinck of the Falcons in the 56th minute. Hinck saved a shot and took the ball to the top of the box and kicked it as hard as she could. The ball sailed to the other end of the field, took two bounces, and went over the Panthers’ goalie for a long-distance goal.
“If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Falcons coach Mark Comstock said.
The Panthers were able to score their last goal in the 57th minute when Hinck batted a shot down, but had the ball roll into the goal by just a few inches.
Tylee Bulloch finished the game off in the 59th minute when she put the ball high and off the Panthers’ keeper from 25 yards out.
CV, 1-4 in region, is five points out of playoff position in sixth place. The Falcons are at fifth-place Desert Hills Tuesday. Pine View, which is off Tuesday, is 0-5 in region.
Cedar 6, Hurricane 2
The Lady Reds had Julia Hunt and Lauren Craft each score two goals, while Rachel Hunt and Tasha Kamachi scored one goal each.
They were the fifth and sixth goals of the year for Julia Hunt, while Craft recorded her second and third of the season.
Jayden Langford and Lena Stevens were able to score one goal each for the Tigers.
Cedar seizes third place with the three points for the win, leapfrogging the Tigers and Thunder. The Lady Reds, 3-2 in region, are at first-place Dixie Tuesday. Hurricane is in fourth with a 2-1-2 record and eight team points. The Tigers host Snow Canyon Tuesday.
Tuesday’s Games (all at 7:30 p.m.)
Canyon View @ Desert Hills
Cedar @ Dixie
Snow Canyon @ Hurricane
Region 9 Standings (Region, Points, Overall)
Dixie 4-0-1, 13, 4-2-2
Snow Canyon 4-1-0, 12, 5-2-1
Cedar 3-2-0, 9, 3-6-0
Hurricane 2-1-2, 8, 4-1-2
Desert Hills 2-2-1, 7, 3-5-2|
Canyon View 1-4-0, 3, 4-4-0
Pine View 0-5-0, 0, 0-7-0
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