Things were looking pretty bleak for Logan, down 2-0 against a very explosive attacking side just 16 minutes into its most recent Region 11 girls soccer match.
To make matters more daunting, the Grizzlies hadn’t scored more than one goal in six straight games, but they refused to give up hope. Instead, Logan battled back to earn its most gratifying win of the 2020 campaign, a 3-2 triumph over visiting Sky View on Tuesday night at Crimson Field.
“I could not be more proud of them,” LHS head coach Natalie Norris said. “That was such a complete game on their part and to see that heart, that intensity and have the fire lit under them right from those two goals, that’s what was so satisfying to see.”
Emma Browning completed the comeback for the Grizzlies (6-5, 1-3 region) with a stunning left-footed strike from the left corner of the 18-yard box that knuckled its way just inches under the crossbar at the back post. It was one of the best goals Norris has seen during her two-plus-year tenure as Logan’s head coach.
The shot, taken with five minutes remaining in the match, even caught Browning off guard.
“I was way surprised,” said the sophomore, who also netted a game-winner earlier this season against Box Elder. “I thought it was not a good shot.”
Browning’s heroics were made possible by teammates Taylor Rose and Cadence Martindale, who both made a couple of huge plays for the hosts in the second half. Martindale, Logan’s goalkeeper, denied the Bobcats (8-2, 2-2) on a pair of one-v-ones, including one on a shot by speedster Addie Poulsen that she was able to parry wide for a Sky View corner kick.
“To see her win every 50-50 ball and throw her whole body out was really inspiring, and so I think it helped the whole top line to get more inspired and want to shoot more, want to make a difference,” Browning said of Martindale.
Meanwhile, Rose, the Grizzlies’ standout center back, made game-changing plays on both ends of the field. The senior came up with a well-timed slide tackle in the 50th minute to eradicate a Bobcat scoring opportunity well inside the 18.
Ten minutes later, Rose converted on a penalty kick to pull Logan level with Sky View. The shot from the penalty spot was awarded when Logan’s Ashley Coppin was tripped up at the edge of the 6-yard box.
Rose was unlucky not to score in the first half as she headed an Alec Kennington corner kick off the underside of the crossbar. It was one of five corners the Grizzlies took in the first half.
“Taylor definitely saved our tails so many times and it’s so fun for her to finally get something going forward,” said Norris, whose team snapped a three-match losing streak. “... I love it when she gets the satisfaction on both sides because she owned their forwards today, and those are some good forwards.”
Amber Kartchner gave the Grizzlies some hope midway through the opening half when she outbattled a Sky View player on an Erin Godfrey free kick for an easy finish at the back post.
The Bobcats only needed 90 seconds to dent the scoreboard. Martindale handled a ball just outside of the 18, giving Sky View a free kick that Macy Hellstern buried.
Sky View struck again 14 minutes later on an outstanding play by Hellstern. The junior showcased some speed and tenacity to carry the ball to the end line, and her perfect cross was redirected in by Mia Morrison.
The visitors were able to convert on two of their three shots in the first half. Conversely, the Bobcats created twice as many dangerous scoring chances after halftime, but were unable to capitalize.
“It was tough, but we will learn from it and become better for it,” SV head coach Jillian Carver said.
OTHER REGION MATCHES
Green Canyon (8-1, 4-0) remained atop the region standings with a 2-0 road victory over Ridgeline (5-6, 2-2), while Mountain Crest (6-4, 3-1) is now alone in second place thanks to a 6-1 win at Bear River (1-7, 0-4).
Kaizley Holbrook netted an insurance goal for the Wolves in the second half and set up Claire Campbell’s goal in the opening half. Holbrook’s seventh goal of the season was assisted by Ryley Thompson.
Keeper Brooke Watkins made a spectacular save on a penalty kick to preserve the Wolves’ fifth shutout during their six-game winning streak. Green Canyon has only conceded three goals this season.
“Solid team defending against a very fluid Ridgeline attack,” GC head coach Sven Rasmussen said. “We had good composure in front of goal.”
“We connected really well tonight, but just lacked the ability to finish,” RHS head coach Mark Tureson said. “I don’t like the final score, but I did like the way our girls competed tonight.”
The Mustangs found the back of the net four times in the second half to pull away from the Bears, who were celebrating their Senior Night. Sadie Coggins and Amelia Zilles recorded braces for Mountain Crest, which also got goals from Keiera Nielson and Ali Myers.
Baylie Baldwin had a pair of assists for the Mustangs, who also got assists from Andie Andrus, Hannah Schwab and Nielson.
“I felt like we were connecting our passes and having a lot of dangerous opportunities,” MC head coach Amber Hyatt said. “We could have finished a couple more and obviously I would have loved to have a shutout, but I’m happy with how we played and it’s always good to get a win on the road.”
It was a good Tuesday for Preston as the girls prevailed against Pocatello (4-5-0, 0-1-0) 2-1 at home, while the boys left Bannock County with a 2-1 victory over the Gate City Indians (4-2-1, 0-1-0). It was the district opener for all four teams.
Tucker Daley finished from point-blank range at the back post in the 75th minute to lift the Preston boys (5-3-1, 1-0-0) to their fourth win in their last five matches. Ty Miller and Kadin Reese facilitated the goal.
Daxton Golightly was Preston’s goal scorer in the opening half.
“It was a good game for us,” Preston head coach Kira Matthews said. “It took a bit for us to find momentum, but when we did we played well.”
Likewise, the Preston and Pocatello girls were tied at 1-1 at the half. Starting keeper Sydnee Marlow gave Preston a big boost in the attack, head coach Brandon Lyon said, and netted the game-winner.
Kylie Larsen found the back of the net for the Franklin County Indians (5-4-0, 1-0-0) in the opening half. Both Preston goals were assisted by Quincy Hyde.
“First 20 minutes was as good as we’ve played (all season),” PHS head coach Brandon Lyon said. “We really carried over the finish from Skyline last week, but once again we struggled to put the ball in the net. We let them hang around a bit and the game ended up closer than it should have. But it’s a district win. We are 1-0 and, at this point we’ll take wins however they come.”