SMITHFIELD — About 17 minutes had elapsed when Sky View star striker Jonathan Bergeson pushed an uncontested eight-yard shot right to Spanish Fork goalkeeper Jacob Atkinson.
Unfortunately for the Dons, Bergeson didn’t make the same mistake again.
Bergeson tucked away his 17th and 18th goals of the season, teammate Ty Erickson also recorded a brace and Sky View rode a strong second half performance to a 4-1 victory over Spanish Fork in the opening round of the 4A Boys Soccer Championship on Wednesday.
“I knew I had to make those (shots),” Bergeson said. “This is the state tournament now and we have to make every chance count, and we can’t let teams capitalize on our mistakes. So I knew I had to make up for (that early miss), so I’m glad that I had that opportunity to and I’m glad that my teammates still trusted me to (finish).”
The Bobcats (9-2-4) outscored the Dons (11-6-0) 3-0 in the second half en route to earning a Saturday showdown against Dixie (12-1-1) in the 4A quarterfinals. The Bobcats will host the Flyers in a match they are hoping will start at 4 p.m. The default time for all quarterfinals matches is 1 o’clock.
“The second half was completely different from the first half,” SV head coach Jorge Cruz said. “Second half we completely came out and dominated. I mean, we had an opportunity on goal in the first few minutes, and the way we played, the way we created our spaces, it was really good.”
The stalwart second half was exactly what the Bobcats were hoping for after they were somewhat fortunate they didn’t face a deficit. Spanish Fork nearly capitalized on a free kick that resulted from a questionable foul call in the waning moments of the opening half. Sky View goalkeeper Mailik Horman made on outstanding reaction save on a point-blank shot at the back post to keep the scoreline level at 1-1.
“It certainly helped us,” Horman said of his massive save. “I mean, it was an unlucky PK that we got (against us), so that tied it up, and I feel like (that save) gave us the momentum we needed to put a couple of goals in the back of the net and give us confidence going into the second round.”
Indeed, the Dons equalized on a penalty kick in the 37th minute. Horman was whistled for a foul in the 18-yard box and Ryker Barton, Spanish Fork’s leading goal scorer this season with 11, buried an unsavable shot from the penalty spot.
The Bobcats, who extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games, took a 1-nil lead eight minutes before the PK. A Sky View throw-in eventually found its way to Cole Thedell, who arrived at the ball at the same time as a Spanish Fork player in the box. The ball deflected to Bergeson, who calmly slotted his shot just inside the near post.
Sky View midfielder Kai Schwartz thumped a beautiful strike from at least 30 yards out off the crossbar earlier in the half.
The Bobcats regained the lead for good early in the second half when Bergeson was able to maneuver around a Spanish Fork defender who was trying to shield him from the ball, and beat Atkinson one-v-one. An inviting free kick by Caden Penrose set up Bergeson later in the half, and No. 7 forced Atkinson into a difficult save later in the half.
Erickson gave Sky View a 3-1 advantage midway through the half on an absolute screamer inside the upper 90 of the near post from 20 or so yards out.
No. 4 put the finishing touches on the Bobcats’ memorable second half when his shot — it might have been a cross — was deflected into the back of the net by a Spanish Fork defender. The Dons played the final 20 minutes a man down after one of their players was issued a yellow card on a foul, and quickly shown a second yellow for dissent.
It was another great performance by Sky View’s backline, especially senior Cole Finlinson, who missed much of the season with an injury. Finlinson blocked a shot that probably would have resulted in a SF goal in the first half.
“Very happy to have Cole back in the defense and playing the way I know he can play,” Cruz said. “... He played phenomenal, he stepped up to the game really well and he’s ready to go. I don’t think there’s any (lingering effects from the) injury anymore. He’s just ready to go. And I love the rotation that we have in the back, so I don’t feel nervous when I do that rotation because they all step up to the same level.”
MUSTANGS 1, TIGERS 0
Dillan Crystal scored midway through the first half and Mountain Crest (9-8-1) shined defensively in a big triumph over Region 10 runner-up Orem (12-5-1) on the road.
A cross by Mountain Crest’s Oliver Thompson was handled by a Orem player in the box, resulting in a PK. Crystal’s penalty was saved by the keeper, but the senior alertly pounced on the rebound.
“Yeah, it’s definitely up there, it’s absolutely up there for quality wins, because Orem, they can go out and beat anybody, I’m sure,” MC head coach Mike Gurney said. “I mean, they just beat (Region 10 champion) Mountain View on Monday, so they’re a very good team. I was very impressed with them, so yeah it’s definitely one of those wins that ranks up there with the best of them for us this season, one of the top couple for sure.”
Gurney was especially pleased with the performances of defenders Ty Smith, Connor Willie and Carter Anderson, and said midfielder Jackson Clark played one of his best matches of the season. Jaydn McBride made five saves — two Gurney said were pretty challenging — en route to his sixth clean sheet of the season. It’s only the third time the Tigers have been shut out this spring.
“Our whole team defense was amazing today,” Gurney said.
Mountain Crest will travel to Region 11 champ Park City (9-6-1) for a Saturday quarterfinal encounter.
BRUINS 3, WOLVES 0
Green Canyon’s season came to an end against Region 10 titlelist Mountain View (11-4-0). The Wolves (6-7-1) won twice as many games as they did in their inaugural season.