SMITHFIELD — Sky View scored in the first five minutes of the second half and then weathered a persistent Mountain Crest attack to come away with a 1-0 win in the Region 11 opener for both girls soccer teams on Tuesday evening.
Macy Hellstern scored the lone goal of the game for Sky View (5-2-0, 1-0-0 Region 11) in the 45th minute, pouncing on a chance off a corner after the ball pinballed around the 6-yard box. A Mountain Crest defender tried to clear the ball up and away, but Hellstern struck the ball well enough to overcome the scrum of feet and bodies to get the ball past MC’s goalkeeper.
That goal from Hellstern capped off a five-minute surge to start the half which, for that small span, flipped the momentum of the game. The Mustangs (1-5-1, 0-1-0) dominated possession of the ball for the entire first half, limiting the Bobcats to just three shots, one on goal. Meanwhile, MC took eight shots, two on goal, with several other great chances that lacked a true shot but were searching chances nonetheless. But in that short period of time, Sky View held possession and took advantage with a goal.
SV head coach Sharron Wood credited the goal and the win to her team’s never-say-die mentality they maintained Tuesday.
“I think that the girls never gave up,” Wood said. “We had our moments of greatness, we possessed and then we didn’t. But they never quit and that’s what I credit the win to is the girls’ effort out on the field and them just working together as a team.”
Sky View’s keeper, Katie Finlinson, embodied that overall mentality. She made seven saves on the night, recording her third shutout of the season. None of the shots truly tested the full breadth of her skill, but her mettle certainly was tested in the second half.
After jumping on a ball in the 6-yard box in the 47th minute, denying yet another goal for the Mustangs, Finlinson had to leave the field for a handful of minutes due to an injury. She returned right at the 50th and played the remaining 30 minutes, but by the end of the game, though, the junior keeper was in tears following the game due to pain from her injury.
“She did an amazing job,” Wood said. “I have to totally shout out to Katie.”
Winning the first game of region play helped solidify a lot of the good Sky View did in preseason. It’s also a huge boon considering the buzzsaw that will be the Region 11 slate of games.
“Any game we win is important,” Wood said. “Our region is so tough that any game that we win is a great win.”
Mountain Crest, walking away with a loss, certainly felt like they let one get away. Head coach Amber Hyatt at least seemed to feel as much.
“I think everybody knows we definitely dominated in that game,” Hyatt said, “so it’s very frustrating to go away with a loss when it should have been a win.”
It wasn’t that Mountain Crest couldn’t create scoring chances. Nor was it that Mountain Crest couldn’t put any shots on frame. The Mustangs simply lacked the complete finishing touch. In total, the team had 18 shots on the night, eight on goal.
“Overall, I thought my team played well. We possessed well and we dominated, we just couldn’t finish.”
Tuesday continued a general scoring drought for the team which, outside of a 3-0 win on Aug. 29, has scored one goal in six games. After the game, Hyatt had a longer than normal post-game talk with her squad.
“I told them after the game, if we can’t score any goals, we’re not going to win any games,” Hyatt said. “It’s that execution in that top third. We work it up and we do really well that way, it’s just having someone up there that’s going to finish the ball for us.”
RIVERHAWKS 3, GRIZZLIES 2
London Miller recorded a second-half brace to complete a comeback for Ridgeline (5-2-0, 1-0-0) after they went into the halftime break down 2-0 at home to Logan (1-6-0, 0-1-0).
The Grizzlies scored two goals in the first half hour, the first just four minutes in on a shot by Anna Arnlijots-Tlatelpa. The first bounced over the outstretched fingertips of the RHS goalkeeper, then Bizzy Arevalo headed in an Alec Kennington corner kick in the 27th to secure Logan’s halftime lead.
“Going down two goals into halftime, I challenged the girls to do the things that we know works for our team,” RHS head coach Mark Tureson said. “They dug in and played hard for each other.”
Ridgeline’s breakthrough came in the 59th. Marley Guevara played a long through ball, which junior forward Halle Van Yperen ran in on and tapped past Logan’s keeper. Miller’s two goals came in the second half of the second half, both on long runs with equally long connecting passes. The senior midfielder now has 17 goals on the season.
“Against a team as good as Logan, this was an important win for us,” Tureson said. “Natalie (Norris) always has her teams prepared well.”
WOLVES 9, BEARS 1
Green Canyon (6-0-0, 1-0-0) maintained its undefeated record in spectacular fashion over Bear River (2-5-0, 0-1-0). Five different players found the back of the net for the Wolves.
Kylie Olsen got a hat trick, plus one for four goals. Ryley Thompson had a brace and Maggie Stevens, Kaizley Holbrook and Hannah Sadler each netted one goal. As far as assists, Holbrook led the crew with three, Olsen had two, and Thompson, Stevens Emma Deberard, and Claire Campbell had one apiece.