SMITHFIELD — There’s no question the Bobcats made significant strides offensively throughout the 2019 high school girls soccer season, and they’ve undeniably built on that success in 2020.
Sky View’s ability to piece together dynamic, attack-minded soccer was on full display in Tuesday night’s 4-0 victory over Preston, and it was another balanced effort as three different players deposited shots into the back of the net.
Through six matches, 10 different Bobcats have scored, with six of those players netting multiple goals, and 10 different athletes have been credited with at least one assist. This kind of balance has allowed Sky View (6-0-0) to win every one of its games by multiple goals, including five by at least three.
“Yeah, that is what makes it super fun is that so many different girls on the team have contributed — every girl has contributed — to the success that we’ve had this season,” SV head coach Jillian Carver said. “... And it’s really good for us to see that we have layer after layer after layer of girls who can put (the ball) into the back of the net.”
The Indians (2-1-0) were resolute in their defending all night long, but the Bobcats were relentless in the attack. The hosts did a superb job of spacing the field and consistently intercepting Preston’s clearances and outlet passes. This allowed Sky View to transition quickly and efficiently.
“Yeah, I really feel like we pressured together as a team better tonight than we’ve probably done all season,” Carver said. “That’s something we’ve worked on in practice. ... I felt like we did really well in that (aspect), so we could win the ball back fast.”
The Bobcats’ persistent pressure paid off in the final eight minutes of the game as they scored twice and pinged another shot off the crossbar. Addie Poulsen buried a pair of sublime shots to the far post from just outside the 18-yard box — both virtually identical strikes — to put the finishing touches on Sky View’s latest win.
“It felt really good,” Poulsen said. “At the end, I feel like we were really coming together as a team and a lot more opportunities were created, and so that was exciting that we could finish (the match) out strong like we did.”
As for Preston, head coach Brandon Lyon was pleased with the effort he saw from his side against what he called a very talented Sky View team.
“We got better today and that’s what we want out of these games right now,” said Lyon, whose squad received another solid performance from four-year starting center back Kylie Larsen. “I mean, yeah we got wins (last) Friday and Saturday, and we got a little better, but we need this sort of competition. We’re going to go play Mountain Crest on Thursday and, regardless of the outcome, we’re going to get better because of the competition. ... I told the girls ‘two weeks from now, that’s where we’ll be.’ (Sky View’s) two weeks ahead of us with conditioning, games, and so we’ll get there.”
The Indians actually got off to a strong start as Quincy Hyde sent in a few dangerous flip throw-ins in the early going. To their credit, the Bobcats dealt with those well and did an excellent job marking up on Preston’s set pieces.
Sky View netted its first goal in the ninth minute as Macy Hellstern tracked down a well-weighted through ball and found Shyanne Stokes at the far post for an easy tap-in.
The Bobcats struck again 10 minutes after halftime on a stunning 30-yard strike by Delaney Gibbons inside the upper 90 of the near post. Hellstern assisted on Poulsen’s first goal and Gibbons on her second one.
Sky View fired off more than 30 shots, including 19 in the second half. Preston goalkeeper Sydnee Marlow made 11 saves.
Stokes did a great job of breaking up one of Preston’s scoring opportunities — a nice slotted pass from Addison Moser to Andie Bell early in the second half. The Indians had two legitimate scoring chances in the opening half — one on a free kick by Abigail Lyon that SV keeper Grace Glover handled well.
What does Preston need to do to generate more chances in the attack against a team like Sky View?
“We’re trying to find the right combinations that fit us, and these games will help with that,” coach Lyon said. “We’ll go back and watch the film, and see where people were at. But you could see the spurts (of good attacking play). The combinations, we started to create them, but it’s just the movement. We’re not moving off the ball to create opportunities like we need to.”
Glover and Katie Finlinson each played a half in goal for the Bobcats, who have only conceded three goals in six matches. Gracie Rigby, Hannah Womack and Reese Thurston shined defensively for the hosts.
For the second time in 10 days, the Grizzlies clawed their way to victory in a shootout, and by the same scoreline, to boot.
Ashley Coppin, Alec Kennington, Taylor Rose and Erin Godfrey converted from the penalty spot for Logan, which prevailed in the shootout, 4-3. Grizzly keeper Cadence Martindale saved Judge Memorial’s final penalty kick to seal the win.
The Bulldogs (3-2-0) went up 1-0 on a goal in the 65th minute, and Coppin equalized for the Grizzlies (4-2-0) in the final minute of regulation. The goal was assisted by Carlie Jenkins.
Logan extended its winning streak to four.
It was a good Tuesday night for Sky View, Green Canyon and Mountain Crest. The Bobcats (5-3) swept Bonneville at home (25-17, 25-12, 25-16), the Wolves (4-4) dispatched of Brighton at home (25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22), and the Mustangs came storming back from a set down on the road against Wasatch (15-25, 25-15, 25-20, 25-21).
Haley McUne and Melanie Hiatt sparkled offensively for the Bobcats as they combined for 22 kills and attacked at a .400 clip. McUne, who finished with 12 kills, also paced Sky View with nine digs. Kaitlyn Hiatt racked up 29 assists for the Bobcats, who got a team-high three blocks from Brinley Forsgren.
Ella Douglass put together another solid performance for the Mustangs as she contributed with 10 kills and four aces. Douglass recorded a hitting percentage of .412 in the process. Madalyn Constantineau chipped in with nine kills and four aces, Jaycee Osborne dished out 35 assists and Phoebe Starnes dug 14 balls. Mountain Crest served up 17 aces in the match.
Four Green Canyon players recorded double-digit kills in Eden Faux (13), Kaylee Coats (11), Sarah Blau (10) and Olivia Chadwick (10). It was an outstanding all-around performance from Blau, who posted a tripled-double. She tallied 35 assists and 20 digs, and attacked at an impressive .562 clip. Livi Longhurst led the Wolves with 21 digs, while Chadwick and Brooklyn Coats combined for 22.