GC beats RHS; Cats, Stangs also prevail
NORTH LOGAN — To put it simply, Green Canyon head girls soccer coach Sven Rasmussen was “happy” with his team’s 1-0 victory over Region 11 foe Ridgeline on Tuesday.
The mid-season matchup between these two teams was a headliner with GC and the Riverhawks taking up the top two spots in the region standings. Green Canyon (7-1-0, 2-1-0) sat in second behind Ridgeline (6-3-0, 2-1-0), the lone unbeaten team in league play after the first week. MaxPreps rated the Riverhawks as the top 4A team in Utah and the 10th-best overall in the state heading into the Tuesday evening clash.
Corey Thompson put home what became the lone goal of the game. Just into the 18th minute, Kylie Olsen played a corner right toward the penalty spot. The Ridgeline defense tapped the ball away from one Wolves forward before Thompson stuck her foot out and snuck the ball past RHS keeper Aspen Wallin.
Green Canyon did had a second shot go in the net in the 75th minute — Kailey Holbrook curled a shot from the left side of the box into the right side of the net — but the potential early game-sealing goal got called back by the flag of the assistant ref on an offside call.
Many were probably expecting plenty of goals considering the high-octane offenses of Ridgeline and Green Canyon that produced 73 goals between both squads by the end of last week. However, Wolves head coach Sven Rasmussen didn’t necessarily get caught up in Ridgeline’s brand of high-scoring games.
“We stuck to our gameplan,” Rasmussen said. “We just continued to do what we do that we’ve found success with.”
At heart, the Wolves are a very solid defensive team, willing to win 1-0 games and be proud of it. This same core of players led Region 12 last year in fewest goals allowed (though a lack of goals by Green Canyon handicapped the team’s overall win total).
“Defensively, to hold a team that has that much attacking power, that’s where we have pride,” Rasmussen said.
Holding on after that initial goal proved no easy task for the Wolves and the Riverhawks only went down after putting up a vigorous fight.
London Miller, who entered the game with 18 goals to her name, tried her hardest to add to that tally and find an equalizer. The senior attacking midfielder took six shots in the second half alone, two on goal. Her aggressiveness nearly drew penalties on two different occasions as Miller got tangled up in the box with GC defenders and the Wolves were lucky to come away unscathed on those plays.
Ridgline’s other top-tier attackers, Abbie Kotter and Halle Van Yperen, combined for three shots on goal throughout the game. Though plenty of shots came off the feet of the Riverhawks, 12 in the second half and 17 overall, few were quality shots capable of finding the back of the net.
“Credit to Green Canyon’s defense,” Ridgeline head coach Mark Tureson said. “They kept getting bodies in front when we needed shots and we didn’t find the windows tonight.”
Wolves goalkeeper Brooke Watkins said the defense made particular effort to “pressure them, so they would be off or off-balance and it worked out for us.”
As it turned out, two of the best chances the Riverhawks produced didn’t show up on the box score as shots. In the 65th, Miller played a cross from the right clean through the six-yard box and came within inches of connecting with Kotter for what would have been a slam dunk goal. Eight minutes later, the Riverhawks played a quick short corner and caught the defending Wolves off guard, letting Miller send in another clean cross directly in front of goal. Alas, Ridgeline was, once again just out of reach in putting the pass home.
Tureson, though obviously not happy with the loss, didn’t feel like there was much missing from his girls on the night outside of a small handful of missed windows. The main things moving forward are to learn and improve.
“We took care of the things that were in our control tonight,” he said. “Sometimes the ball didn’t bounce our way. (Green Canyon) got that goal in early, credit to them on the shot. But the rest of the night I thought the girls connected really well, found each other, put the pressure on.”
Though it was just the third region game for both teams, Tuesday’s game could factor into the final standings when all is said and done. So for Watkins and the Wolves, getting a win Tuesday was huge.
“It was awesome because we respect them so much,” Watkins said. “They are a hard-working team, but we are too, so we just tried to do our best. It means a lot to us, but we’ve got to keep working.”
BOBCATS 3, GRIZZLIES 1
Sky View (6-3-0, 2-1-0) put itself back on the winning track while simultaneously extending the woes for Logan (2-7-0, 1-2-0). Macy Hellstern notched a first-half brace to give the Bobcats a comfortable 2-0 halftime lead.
Bizzy Arevalo pulled one back for the Grizzlies in the 58th, but the visitors couldn’t manage anything else and Kylie Rogers, who assisted on Hellstern’s first goal, added one more score for good measure on Sky View’s behalf.
Logan, the defending region champions, are now in second-to-last place, only ahead of Bear River. The Bobcats, meanwhile, are staying in contention for one of the top spots in the standings.
MUSTANGS 2, BEARS 0
Mountain Crest (3-5-1, 2-1-0) has now put back-to-back wins together for the first time this season and are just rolling into form. The Mustangs scored once in each half to solidify its dominance over Bear River (2-7-0, 0-3-0), which remains winless in region games.
Amelia Zilles and Keiera Nielson scored the goals for MC. The Mustangs have scored four goals in the last two games, the same total the team had through its first seven outings.