NORTH LOGAN — Early in the second half of her side’s showdown with rival Sky View, Green Canyon’s Emma DeBerard had the ball at her feet inside the 18-yard box with an ideal shooting angle, but slotted her shot wide of the far post.
To her credit, the senior mentally regrouped and was ready the next time she had time and space in scoring range. DeBerard buried a lovely strike from at least 30 yards out in the 50th minute and that was the difference in Green Canyon’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sky View in a Region 11 girls soccer match on a pleasant Tuesday evening.
“I’ve been working really hard and I just knew my teammates were going to get me another ball in, so it felt really good to finish that one,” DeBerard said.
It was another gratifying result for a relatively young Green Canyon squad, which has made steady progress after getting off to an 0-4 start. The Wolves (4-5, 2-1) lost to four 5A or 6A sides in the preseason, but have reigned supreme in four of their last five games.
“It’s been a growing season, but we’ve really come together and I think those early-season loses have just shaped us and taught us what we can do better,” DeBerard said. “And we’re really starting to improve and it’s the perfect time to start improving.”
Tuesday’s match was a back-and-forth affair as both teams fired off seven shots in the first half. Green Canyon got the better of Sky View during the first 20 or so minutes of the second half, but the Bobcats (6-5, 0-4) caught fire and put the Wolves under plenty of duress late. Case in point: Six of Sky View’s 10 shots after halftime took place in the final 12 minutes.
“This is a big game, just because it’s Sky View and Green Canyon,” GC assistant Coach Kirt Sadler said. “And we knew whether they’re bad or they’re good, it’s just going to be a fight regardless of that. But they’ve done really well. They’ve struggled in region play, Sky View has, but they did really well in the preseason and they’ve been in close matches. Even the 6-1 game they had against Mountain Crest, they gave the ball up four times in their 18, so the game, if you watched the film, the game was way closer than (6-1).”
Sky View head coach Jillian Carver was certainly encouraged by what she saw from her girls, especially after last Thursday’s frustrating 1-0 setback on the road to Bear River.
“This game was a better foot forward for us and so that was super positive,” Carver said. “I’m super proud of these girls for coming out super hard and it’s been a different team this week, and that’s awesome. Yeah, second half, I mean, we need to adjust some things, but overall it was super encouraging.”
Both teams scored during a 45-or-so-second stretch late in the opening half.
Sky View’s Macy Hellstern headed in a Laney Gibbons corner kick in the 37th minute, but Green Canyon equalized less than one minute later. Gibbons worked hard to win that corner kick opportunity for the visitors.
Brenna Klein whipped in a dangerous ball to the back post that SV goalkeeper Jada Westover was able to tip, but freshman Katelyn Jensen was positioned inside the 6-yard box to volley in the loose ball. The Wolves put five shots on frame during the first 40 minutes of action.
The Wolves got off to a strong start in the second half as they took six shots in the first 10 minutes. The Bobcats were undaunted, though, and looked sharper as the half progressed. Gibbons forced GC keeper Haylee Anderson into a pair of challenging, clutch saves late.
Anderson also came up big on a cross/shot to the back post by Kortnee Lamb that she punched over the crossbar in the opening half. It was a solid defensive performance by the Wolves, especially in the run of play.
“Me and (head coach) Ed (Heberling) have both watched film on them and we knew, especially from outside, they’re dangerous from outside,” Sadler said. “In the first half we did terrible giving up too many corners. But this has been our whole thing this whole year (is that) we get compact, we play good defense and it turns into offense, and that’s what’s been happening.”
Likewise, the Bobcats defended well, they just didn’t get enough quality scoring chances in the 18. Of Sky View’s four loses in region play, three have been by a single goal.
“We’ve just got to finish (our opportunities),” said Carver, whose side got a big play from defender Emma Daniels to break up a potential one-v-one in the first half. “That’s all. We just have to put the ball in the back of the net, so it will come. It’s going to come.”
OTHER REGION MATCHES
Freshman Emilee Skinner scored once in each half as Ridgeline (5-4, 3-0) dispatched of visiting Logan (3-7, 1-3) by a 2-0 scoreline, while Mountain Crest (9-1, 4-0) remained atop the region standings with a 5-0 triumph over visiting Bear River (3-7, 1-3). The Riverhawks and Wolves have played one fewer match than the other four teams in the league because their showdown last Friday was postponed due to inclement weather.
Skinner buried a penalty kick in the 10th minute, and then earned the first brace of her varsity career by tracking down a Macie Brown ball centrally early in the second half and converting on a breakaway. Alivia Brenchley went the full 80 minutes in goal for Ridgeline, which now has five shutouts on the season.
“I’m very happy with the chances we created tonight,” RHS head coach Mark Tureson said. “Very good ball movement and we connected well. A great team effort. We do need to be more clinical in our finishing, but it is coming. I’m proud of the risks we are taking in the offensive third. Logan’s goalie (Milly Garren) played really well tonight. She was so good at timing her approach to our players and cuts angles off very well.”
“I’m really proud of how my team responded the second half,” LHS head coach Natalie Norris said. “I feel like we improved on several of our (team) goals, but our best soccer came in the second half. We have a long way to go, but I’m proud of the effort and response I saw.”
Meanwhile, the Mustangs got five goals from five different players against the Bears, who trailed 2-0 at the half. Baylie Baldwin contributed with a goal and an assist for Mountain Crest, which got a pair of assists from Madison Fenton.
Sadie Coggins, Addyson Sofonia, Summer Sofonia and Amelia Zilles also found the back of the net for the Mustangs, while Hadli Barrera was credited with an assist. Dakota Andersen went the distance in goal and Mountain Crest secured its sixth clean sheet of the 2021 campaign.
“The girls played well tonight,” MC head coach Amber Hyatt said. “We worked hard for every goal we scored. I loved that we had several different players score and we had a lot of beautiful assists. I’m also proud that my girls got another shutout. Overall, everyone played well and it was a successful night for us.”