It was a busy day for Cache County’s high school girls soccer programs as all five teams were in action on a sweltering Wednesday.
Green Canyon and Ridgeline kicked off their seasons with convincing victories, while Logan, Mountain Crest and Sky View lost in their openers. All five local teams played against schools from larger classifications.
The Wolves found the back of the net twice in each half en route to a 4-0 triumph over visiting Box Elder, which tied for second place in its region a year ago. Kylie Olsen recorded a brace for Green Canyon.
McKenna Crane headed in a Kaizley Holbrook corner kick midway through the first half, and Olsen gave the Wolves a 2-0 halftime lead when she collected a Talia Winder free kick and beat Box Elder’s goalkeeper on a shot to the back post.
Olsen struck again early in the second half on another back post shot. Ryley Thompson assisted on the goal. Hannah Sadler provided the exclamation point in the 70th minute when she headed in a Maggie Stephens corner.
Brooke Watkins went the full 80 minutes in goal for Green Canyon and notched the valley’s first shutout of the season.
“I think every coach at the beginning of the year is very optimistic and I am very much the same,” GC head coach Sven Rasmussen said. “We have a lot of returners. We only graduated three from last year, so I knew we had potential to be really, really good this year. And the girls were able to go there and execute, and I think tactically we’re going to be very different than we have been in the past. I feel like maybe last year we were a little bit predictable, but this year (we’re more dynamic).”
Ridgeline netted four goals in each half in its 8-2 drubbing of Woods Cross on the road. London Miller was unstoppable and she racked up four goals and had a hat trick with still 11 minutes remaining in the opening half.
Halle Van Yperen, Abbie Kotter, Tenzie Knowles and Addie Zollinger also capitalized on scoring opportunities for the Riverhawks, who took a commanding 5-0 lead just four minutes into the second half.
Sierra Curtis was credited with an assist for Ridgeline, while Carmen Wimmer, Kennedy Demler and Knowles were instrumental in the build-up of at least one goal each.
The Wildcats scored one of their goals on a penalty kick, but Ridgeline head coach Mark Tureson was pleased with how well his backline “stayed connected together.”
“I think probably the best thing is just how well the girls looked for each other and they just shared the ball all over the field,” Tureson said. “We had goal scorers, but we also had girls looking up and trying to find each other. That was the fun part is that the girls were just playing for each other. ... It’s so fun to watch when they do that. ... It was just a good team effort.”
Meanwhile, Mountain Crest and Sky View both dropped 1-0 nailbiters at home to Fremont and Northridge, respectively. Davis, which advanced to the 6A semifinals last season, pulled away from visiting Logan, 5-0.
The Silverwolves took a 1-0 lead over the Mustangs late in the second half. Mountain Crest nearly equalized on two occasions head coach Amber Hyatt said.
Harmony Newman tracked down a pass from Baylie Baldwin, but her shot was saved by the Fremont keeper. Birkli Barrera almost scored off a corner kick.
“Going into the first game is always nerve wracking,” Hyatt said. “How are we going to play? How well are we going to play together? It’s hot. We’re not quite in shape yet, but overall I was really happy with how the team played. I think we were connecting really, really well. We definitely had our opportunities ... so it’s looking very promising and I’m excited to see what the season holds for us.”
Sky View was definitely a bit unlucky not to at least earn a draw against Northridge, which scored the match’s lone goal midway through the first half. Kylie Rogers and Addie Poulsen pinged shots off the woodwork for the Bobcats.
Samantha Hall also “had a couple pretty good looks” in the attack for Sky View, head coach Sharron Wood said.
“Lots of good stuff tonight,” Wood said. “... We’re still working on finishing. That’s our dilemna always is to finish (our opportunities), and we’re going to keep working on that. But I feel good about (the match). I think we have a great team and I know that we can improve.”
The Darts netted three goals after halftime to slam the door against the Grizzlies. Logan had a few prime chances to dent the scoreboard, head coach Natalie Norris asserted.
Karlie Jenkins and reigning Herald Journal All-Valley Player of the Year Bizzy Arevalo were both dangerous in the attack, Norris said. Arevalo forced the Davis keeper to make a what Norris called a “beautiful” diving stop, and Ashley Coppin was nearly able to bury the rebound.
“I scheduled a pretty tough preseason, which I like to do, and it always give us a lot of good coaching points to go off of right from the beginning,” Norris said. “We haven’t had the best of luck with injuries currently, so we’re a little lackluster in that area. But I think we saw a lot of good moments today, and we’ve just got to capitalize on those and continue to learn from our mistakes.”
PREP BOYS GOLF
Sky View picked right up where it left off last fall on the golf course.
The Bobcats began the 2019 season by topping the rest of the Region 11 field at a preseason tournament Monday at the Preston Golf and Country Club. Sky View won by 11 strokes over Ridgeline.
Powering the Bobcats was Ryan Seamons. The senior carded a 5-under-par 66 to easily claim medalist honors. Bear River’s Jarett Giles was second with a 2-under-par 69. They had the only red scores of the day.
Rounding out the team standings after Sky View (295) and Ridgeline (306) was Bear River (311), Green Canyon (315), Logan (323) and Mountain Crest (412). Teams used 10 players, using the top four for team scores. Once region play begins, teams can only have eight varsity players.
The Bobcats had four players shoot in the 70’s to join Seamons’ 66. Hayden Kleven tied for fourth with teammate Tyler Hogan, Ridgeline’s Zach Skinner and Green Canyon’s Jace Blotter as they all shot 76s. Sky View’s Hayden Howell (77) and Logan Cromwell (78) were the other two in the 70’s.
The Riverhawks were led by Jacob Mann with a 74. He finished third individually. Beckham Johansen (77) and Scotty Jeppson (79) also helped the Ridgeline cause. Jeppson drew some praise as he aced No. 9.
Blotter led the Wolves, followed by Jordan Alder (78) and Gage Halverson (79).
Logan was led by Anthony Woolley with a 78, while Conner Leishman paced Mountain Crest with a 82.
Next Monday the region golfers will head over the hill to play at Eagle Mountain Golf Course in Brigham City.
HJ sports editor Shawn Harrison contributed to this report