The Logan High girls soccer team’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion Wednesday night as the Grizzlies fell in the second round of the 4A state playoffs to Snow Canyon High by the score of 1-1 (5-4 in a shootout).
Entering the game, the Grizzlies were 4-1 in penalty shootouts throughout the season, but were unable to win one when it mattered most. The failure to capitalize on chances in regulation, extra time and the shootout was ultimately their downfall.
“Honestly, we did everything we needed to do besides put the ball in the back of the net,” Logan head coach Natalie Norris said. “I felt like we hustled the entire time, we outworked them, we outran them, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and when it came down to it that’s what nipped us in the bud.”
In the first half, the Grizzlies (11-7) dominated in time of possession and had six shots on target, including a laser from senior Alec Kennington that was blocked by Snow Canyon goalkeeper Ruth Sumner.
But it was the visiting Warriors (10-8) who struck first when freshman Lilly Wittwer found some open space down field and managed to put the ball in the back of the net with 11 minutes to go in the half.
Down 1-0 to start the second half, the favored Grizzlies showed some urgency. In the 47th minute, senior Gracie Laney had a great through ball to senior Ashley Coppin, who took a dribble and shot. It was blocked by Sumner, but Logan’s Milly Garren was right there for the rebound and put it in to even the game at 1-1.
The remainder of the second half, Logan’s offense was quiet and it was Snow Canyon making things happen, leading the possession and having four shots on goal. And the Warriors would have scored, if not for the heroics of Grizzly senior keeper Cadence Martindale.
With five minutes to go in regulation, Snow Canyon’s Tessa Thornton had a fast break and an open shot, with Martindale the only one standing between her and the game-winning goal. Martindale had great anticipation, leaping up and blocking the shot and then the ensuing rebound — a phenomenal play that kept Logan’s hopes alive.
In the extra time, both Coppin and sophomore Emma Browning got shots off for the hosts, but besides that it was a rather uneventful 20 minutes. It all came down to the penalty shootout.
Snow Canyon’s Breanna Graves made the first shot, followed by a Emma Browning score for Logan. After Snow Canyon hit its second attempt, Sumner dove to her left and blocked Logan’s Carlie Jenkins kick. Martindale answered with a block of her own and, after a made shot by Logan senior Kylee Thanadabout, the score was tied at 2-2.
The Warriors and Grizzlies traded goals for rounds four and five, with Coppin and fellow senior Taylor Rose scoring for Logan. But in round No. 6, after Snow Canyon knocked it in, senior Amber Karchner’s shot went wide left, ending the game.
It was an abrupt and emotional send-off for the Grizzlies, who graduate eight of their 11 starters.
“The seniors are the heart and soul of this team and they will be greatly missed,” Norris said. “The impact they left on Logan High soccer is unmatched.”