HYRUM — Friday’s Region 11 boys soccer game in Hyrum between Mountain Crest and Ridgeline was a scoreless draw for the first 78-plus minutes of action and seemed destined for overtime.
But Ridgeline’s Tate Godfrey had other ideas.
With 80 seconds remaining, the senior striker received the ball just past midfield, dribbled up to the left side to the top of the box, and launched it into the upper right-hand corner for the game-winner.
It was just one of the three shots Ridgeline (8-5, 5-2 in region) had on goal all game, but it went in when it mattered most. The victory — which serves as revenge from a 2-1 Mountain Crest win when the teams first met on March 31 — puts Ridgeline in second place in the region.
“It was a hard-fought game. Their defense did a really good job of keeping us out of the back,” said Godfrey. “Just on that last one I started popping out wide and realized there was a ball through, so I just took it because I looked up and saw we only had like a minute left, so I’m like, ‘it’s now or never.’ I’m just glad I was able to finish.”
“Very aggressive, very intense game, so hats off to (Mountain Crest),” RHS head coach Dale Buchanan said. “It could’ve gone either way today, but I’m very very proud of how the team came together. They played as a team, played at a championships caliber, and came out with the win.”
For the Mustangs (9-4, 5-3 in region) the result is a letdown. They had eight shots on goal, several legitimate chances to score, and seemed to hold the momentum throughout the game.
“It’s a hard one,” MC head coach Justin Beus said. “We outplayed them the whole game, we had multiple shots on goal ... so it sucks to fall.”
There were two times in the game that a Mountain Crest goal appeared evident.
Just moments before Godfrey scored the game-winner, the Mustangs had a chance at that 11th-hour goal of their own. With two minutes left in the match, Mustang forward Oliver Thompson got a through ball and broke free down the middle of the field, with just the goalie to beat.
But Riverhawk keeper, junior Riley Garvert, stood strong — diving to his left and knocking the ball away from the net.
Fourteen minutes into the first half, Mountain Crest’s Gabriel Newman collected the ball near the left corner, used some impressive dribbling to get past his defender, and crossed the ball inside to Gideon Newman. Newman got a foot on the ball and sent it towards the goal, but it was deflected by Garvert and back into play toward Dylan McArthur, who kicked it in the back of the net, seemingly for the first goal of the game.
Only he was called offside.
“I didn’t have a good look, so I couldn’t tell if people were offsides,” Beus said. “To me, it was a deflection off the defense, so it shouldn’t have been offsides, but I obviously wasn’t in a position to see it.”
Buchanan had nothing but high praise for his goalie that kept Ridgeline in the game.
“Riley Garver has played varsity since his freshman year,” Buchanan said. “He’s very quiet, but when he’s in the goal he manages the goal extremely well. He’s way more mature for his age than he should be, just an outstanding consistent goalkeeper who’s always relaxed, always confident, and dialed in on what he does.”
Mustangs had six shots on goal (two on target), while the Riverhawks had five. (one on target.)
Ridgeline’s best opportunities came from Daxon Flygare. Off a set ball from Karim Salome with 13 minutes to go in the half, he got a shot off his foot, but it sailed wide left. With 5 minutes left in the half, he got off another shot from the box that looked good, but it was deflected off a teammate.
Beyond the offsides goal, the Mustangs had chances of their own. With four minutes left in the half, Luke Dustin has a remarkable bicycle kick from 10 yards out, but it bounced off the top of the crossbar and out. With one minute left, Newman had an open look from 25 yards out, but it sailed just over.
In the second half, the trend continued.
Eight minutes into the half, Thompson crossed one into Newman, who launched one from seven yards out with the goalie out of the way. But once again, it went over the crossbar. MC finished the final 20 minutes with 10 shots (six on goal).
Ridgeline finished the second half with seven shots on goal (two on target), including a shot from Johan Salome off of a savvy back kick from Gabriel Watson that went wide left.
Green Canyon (11-2, 6-1) extended its winning streak to six with a 4-0 triumph over visiting Bear River (0-11, 0-7), while Sky View (8-4, 5-2) dispatched of Logan (2-10, 1-6) by a 4-0 scoreline for the second time this season — this time at home.
All four Green Canyon goals were assisted and the Wolves earned their ninth shutout of the season — fourth straight.
Michael Bingham recorded a brace for Green Canyon, which led 3-0 at the half and also got goals from Angel Torres and Porter Cragun. John Whitby had a pair of assists for the Wolves, while Roli Gallart and Baldo Chavez were also credited with assists.
In the process, the Wolves swept the season series with the Bears and remain one game ahead of second-place Ridgeline and Sky View in the region standings.
“We had great positional fluidity,” GC head coach Sven Rasmussen said. “Our movement was where we need to be at. We created a host of (scoring) chances. Their keeper had a great day. We were able to honor one of our seniors today. Francisco Hernandez started in goal. ... His passion and dedication to the game of soccer is an example for our guys.”
Meanwhile, the Bobcats bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to the Wolves by scoring two early goals against the Grizzlies. Sky View struck again two minutes into the second half and found the back of the net once more in the 57th minute.
Carson Soto contributed with a goal and as assist for Sky View, which also got goals from Cole Thedell, Davis Hall and Landon McClellan. In addition to Soto, Caleb Miller and Jakobi Dursteler were credited with assists.
Goalkeeper Cordell Ludlow secured his fourth clean sheet of the season for the Bobcats.
“We were pretty disappointed with the result of our game Wednesday,” SV head coach Jorge Cruz said. “The boys had a great practice (Thursday) and, as coaches, we were happy to see the communication and the combining on the field today. It felt good to see the way our team responded.”
Ridgeline (6-4, 2-2) traveled to Mountain Crest (2-10, 0-4) and left with a 17-5 victory, while Sky View (5-4, 3-1) won at Logan (3-7, 1-3), 7-4.
Green Canyon (7-1, 3-0) was supposed to play Bear River (5-4, 2-1) on the road, but the Bears are under quarantine. The two teams are hoping to reschedule on Monday, April 26. The Wolves are currently ranked fifth in the entire state in the RPI.
Daxton Daniels scored once and assisted on two other goals for the Grizzlies. Kyle Humphreys, Matthew Mason and Ethan Davis also found the back of the net for Logan, which got an assist from James Thornley.
“Sky View’s goalie (Porter Jackson) had a great night,” LHS head coach Bo Olsen said. “We put lots of good shots on goal, but he was a one-man defensive threat out there. Big ups to him.”
HJ sports writer Jason Turner contributed to this report