SV-GC soccer main

Sky View players celebrate after beating Green Canyon in a penalty kick shootout in the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament on Saturday in Smithfield.

Support Local Journalism

SMITHFIELD --- Nine rounds into Saturday's penalty shootout, Sky View and Green Canyon were both at wit's end. The winner would advance to the semifinals of the 4A Girls State Soccer Championships, a round none of Sky View's players have seen and only a few of Green Canyon's players have experienced.

Already the shootout had seen tremendous saves, agonizing misses, multiple fake-out wins and even a referee controversy.

Senior midfielder Lydia Edwards was the ninth Green Canyon player to step up to the spot. Just 12 yards away, senior goalkeeper Grace Glover bounced on the balls of her feet. Edwards covered five yards in a three-step run-up, put her foot through and...

The shot glanced off the top of the crossbar, just left of the center of the goal.

Both players ended up prostrate on the ground, one stunned by a sudden victory the other wallowing in the agony of a missed shot and a season ended. Sky View players swarmed the field and Green Canyon players trickled in to comfort each other.

"Since before my freshman year we haven't made it past quarterfinals," Glover said. "So knowing that we are going to the semifinals, it's just already crazy for us."

"It hurts," GC head coach Ed Heberling said. "It stings."

The penalty shootout came within eight minutes of not happening. Green Canyon controlled the game throughout, keeping the ball in Sky View territory and racking up shot attempts. The Wolves had a 16-6 advantage in shots overall and an 11-3 advantage in shots on frame.

One of those GC shots wound up in the back of the net. In the ninth minute, Emma DeBerard played in a corner kick, which found the foot of Cambree Tensmeyer on the opposite side of the goal, just inside the 6-yard box. Tensmeyer's shot was more of a deflection, but it was lobbed over the heads of the defense and keeper, opening the Wolves account and giving them a 1-0 lead.

That lead held despite the best efforts of Sky View and Green Canyon. The Wolves enjoyed much success in connecting passes and through balls in the attacking third, but never truly tested Glover with a final shot.

"We just couldn't get the final pass in or get the shot off," Heberling said. "(Sky View) did well defensively to get numbers back in and behind and take away our shooting angles. They made it difficult for us."

"Our defensive shape was really solid throughout the entire game," SV head coach Jillian Carver said. "They're strength is in the middle and we knew that. We've played them twice already this season and we knew if we could shut down that middle it would be to our advantage."

Though defensively stout, Sky View needed a goal and it didn't pose much of a threat to get a game-tying shot in the second half, managing just one shot (not even on goal) through the first 30 minutes of the latter half. But in the 72nd minute, Macy Hellstern altered the course of the game.

Maysen Mckay played a ball forward for Hellstern, who took it into the left side of the 18-yard box and curled a shot on frame. Haylee Anderson went full extension in a leaping save attempt, and got her fingertips on the ball. But still, the ball's trajectory remained on frame and it found the inside of the goal.

Eight minutes and two overtimes later, Hellstern's goal stood as an equalizer. Across three games in regular season and postseason, the two sides had been equal, an aggregate score of 4-4. Penalty kicks were needed to separate these teams and see which one would have the honor to advance.

Neither team began the shootout well. Delaney Gibbons had her shot saved by Anderson on the first kick of the shootout. Anderson also saved the third Sky View attempt from Hellstern. Green Canyon squandered this goalkeeper excellence, however, by missing two of its first three attempts. Katelyn Jensen hit the left post and Elizabeth Seeley went wide right. The next four combined attempts were all successful, two by SV's and two by GC's Austin Miller and Deberard. The latter of those two provided the first fake-out for the game. Glover dove the correct way and blocked DeBerard's shot initially, but the ball took an unfortunate bounce off Glover's hands and it rolled into the back of the net anyway. That near-save was the fifth GC attempt and SV had a 3-2 advantage. Had the ball remained out, Sky View would have walked off then.

"I knew which way (DeBerard) was going," Glover said. I knew which way because I was the goalkeeper when we had PKs with them last year. The fact that I did all the work, and I remembered all of that just for that to still go in was terrible."

Three rounds later, the Bobcats had two more seeming wins. Glover saved a shot from Kamree Stewart and the Bobcats rushed the field, but the referees called it back, saying Glover had stepped off her line too early. On the re-take, Glover blocked the shot once again, but was for a second time called for stepping off her line. On the third try, Stewart didn't miss and the shootout continued.

"The first one was the one that really got me," Glover said. "I was pretty sure I didn't walk off, but it doesn't matter now I guess."

With those two call-backs and the unlucky near-save, Glover had three times got her hands on the ball but had zero saves to show for it.

"It is the most frustrating thing ever," Glover said.

Glover wound up not needing to save a single shot, though as Edwards' narrow miss in the next round marked the fourth straight miss by a Green Canyon player. Among those misses the Wolves hit the left and right posts, along with the crossbar.

The Bobcats advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2017 when the team won the 4A state championship. Their opponent will be Crimson Cliffs, the top overall seed, and the two sides were square off next Thursday at 10 a.m. at Juan Diego High School. The Mustangs have not lost a game since Aug. 6 and most recently defeated Logan 3-1 on Saturday.

OTHER PLAYOFF MATCHES

At least one Cache Valley team will earn the right to play at Rio Tinto Stadium as Mountain Crest and Ridgeline will square off in the second of two semifinals, which is scheduled for Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Juan Diego. The finals will be take place Friday at 5 p.m. at Real Salt Lake's pitch.

The second-seeded Mustangs (15-2) scored three times in the second half to dispatch of No. 10 Desert Hills (7-11), while the third-seeded Riverhawks (10-7) found the back of the net twice in a three-minute stretch of the first half and coasted past No. 6 Dixie (10-9).

It was a big day for Mountain Crest's Addyson Sofonia, who buried the game-winner and the first insurance goal, plus assisted on the final goal by Baylie Baldwin. Summer Sofonia, Addyson's younger sister, also found the back of the net for the Mustangs, who got a pair of assists from Hadli Barrera and another from twin sister Bentli Barrera.

The score was 1-1 at the half.

"It took as a while to get going, but once we did we had some really pretty goals," MC head coach Amber Hyatt said. "The team chemistry and teamwork right now is unbeatable, and I hope we can keep that up and be playing another two games. Everyone that stepped on the field played awesome and at such a high level. I'm excited for the semifinals."

On the flip side, the Riverhawks got off to an ideal start as they raced out to a 2-0 lead in the 12th minute. Caitlyn Parry, assisted by Emilee Skinner, struck first for Ridgeline and her corner kick was finished by Brenli Wolford three minutes later. Halle Miller converted on a Halle Smith cross late in the second half to slam the door.

Lily Loyet went the distance in goal for the Riverhawks, who secured their eighth clean sheet of the season.

"We finished a couple goals early and it helped our chemistry," RHS head coach Mark Tureson said. "We still had plenty of chances that we should have finished, but I'm happy that we are still creating those chances. Our defense was solid today. They were able to manage the Dixie offense well and kept them out of our defensive third."

And now, Ridgeline hopes the third time will be the charm against Mountain Crest, which was triumphant in the first regular season showdown, 3-0, and the second, 5-2.

"Our team is very excited to get another opportunity to play a good team like Mountain Crest," Tureson said. "If you're going to play for championships, you have to be able to beat good teams. I like our team and I like our system. The team does not need any help from us coaches to get excited for that game."

Likewise, No. 8 Logan (6-12) got off to a quick start against top-seeded Crimson Cliffs (16-2). Ayrion Covington converted on a Mia Lopez corner kick to give the Grizzlies a 1-0 advantage.

The Mustangs equalized with about 10 minutes remaining in the opening half, and took advantage of a couple of defensive mistakes by the Grizzlies, LHS head coach Natalie Norris said, during the first 20 minutes of the second half to pull away.

The Grizzlies, who have battled through a myriad of injuries this season, got several big saves from goalkeeper Milly Garren to stay within striking distance of the Mustangs, including two on one sequence. Logan's Emma Browning and Lopez "had some gorgeous combos, but Mia is just not quite a full strength," Norris said, and the standout freshman reaggravated her long-standing injury.

"I am so proud of this team," Norris said. "To have such a young team and see so many people step up for me leaves me speechless," Norris said. "We had some outstanding performances from individuals all year, especially Milly in goal, but what I'm most impressed by is how they just battled and battled and battled. The heart they showed every single game made me so proud as a coach."

----

Herald Journal sports writer Jason Turner contributed to this report

Please be aware that Cache Valley Publishing does not endorse, and is not responsible for alleged employment offers in the comments.

Recommended for you