NORTH LOGAN — The Green Canyon girls soccer team stood in stunned silence on Saturday afternoon, watching visiting Pine View high celebrate a 1-1 (4-3 in a shootout) victory in the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament.
During what was an intense, physical affair, the favored Wolves managed to put up 23 shots compared to just nine shots from the visiting Panthers, but were unable to land a decisive blow.
“It breaks your heart, that’s for sure,” said Green Canyon head coach Sven Rasmussen. “Sometimes with soccer, you can be the better team based on certain things, but at the end of the day Pine View won. Super frustrating, but that’s why we play the actual game.”
The second-seeded Wolves (12-5) came into the game hoping to build off their 4-1 victory over Juan Diego on Wednesday but soon realized that the 10th-seeded Panthers (11-7) were a whole different animal than the Soaring Eagles.
The first half was what some would call an exciting defensive affair, with Green Canyon mustering four shots compared to five from Pine View, and no true scoring opportunities.
The Wolves held the majority of possession, but the visiting backline held strong, keeping the Green Canyon forwards uncomfortable and out of synch.
At the start of the second half, things started to click for the hosts. Just two minutes in, junior Emma DeBerard created some room for herself and then launched one from 23 yards out into the upper right corner for a Green Canyon goal.
But 13 minutes later, Pine View responded. Junior Katelyn Leavitt’s cross into the box connected with the head of senior Mairen MacLellan and found its way into the back of the net.
For the remainder of the regulation, Green Canyon had multiple scoring opportunities, including strikes from Talia Winder and Kaizley Holbrook that went just wide of the goal.
But the Panthers stayed alive, utilizing their physicality and the referee’s willingness to play-on to their advantage.
In extra time, both schools nearly netted a golden goal.
Green Canyon’s Gracie Wheatley rifled one from 30 yards out, and it bounced off the upper post. Pine View responded with a MacLellan header that would have gone in if not for a brilliant diving save by senior goalkeeper Brooke Watkins.
It all came down to the penalty shootout. Things started poorly for the Wolves, with Holbrook missing and DeBerard’s shot blocked. Down 2-1 going into the third frame, senior Ryley Thompson responded with a goal. Winder and senior McKenna Crane would score in the fourth and fifth frames and, after Pine View’s Emma Loyd hit one of the crossbar at the end of the fifth frame, the score was 3-3.
In the sixth frame, senior Corey Thompson missed for the Wolves, and then Pine View’s ensuing shot was blocked. After senior Brooklyn Heap’s shot to start the seventh frame was blocked, MacLellan stepped in for the Panthers and scored, sending Pine View to the semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium, and Green Canyon home.
For the Wolves, it was a valiant effort, but also a frustrating send-off as they are graduating 10 seniors, including eight starters.
“I’m super proud of my girls. I think we played a pretty good game. I’m not going to go back and do the woulda, coulda, shoulda,” Rasmussen said. “I just wanna thank the seniors for all their sacrifice and what they’ve done to build up our program.”