ST. GEORGE — Snow Canyon and Desert Hills both won on the final night of the girls soccer regular season, thereby finishing in a tie for first place in the Region 9 standings with 11-2-1 records. Both teams will have byes this Saturday when the playoffs open.
The two teams had previously played each other in the season opener on Aug. 22, with Desert Hills posting a 3-1 home win. However, the Lady Thunder later forfeited that game, along with three other preseason contests, due to having an ineligible player. All goals scored during that first region game were nullified.
On Sept. 19, the Thunder and Warriors played each other again, this time at Snow Canyon, with the result being a scoreless tie.
Also winning on Tuesday were Pine View and Cedar, who finished in a tie for fourth place, just a half-game behind Hurricane, which lost to Desert Hills.
The final RPI rankings are available here.
Desert Hills 2, Hurricane 1
After playing to a scoreless first half, Desert Hills came out of the locker room with some fire. However, while the Thunder seemed to get opportunity after opportunity in front of the Hurricane goal, they couldn’t find the back of the net.
Hurricane responded with some opportunities of their own, but Desert Hills seemed to smother them, keeping the ball on their side of the field for most of the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Finally the Thunder’s Maia Perry put one in just inside the 30 minute mark. Less then three minutes later, Perry struck again. Both of her goals were assisted by Madi Bakker, who came out of the back line to help on offense. Perry is only a junior and has produced at an extremely high level for the Thunder this year.
“Maia, she has improved every single year,” head coach Benji Nelson said. “She got a little bit of time as a freshman, got some good time as a sophomore. This year she’s played really well. We’re excited to be able to have her, and you always want somebody on your team that’s going to finish. She’s led our team this year in goals.”
With this win, Desert Hills overcame some early season trouble and won a share of the Region 9 soccer title.
“That’s what we were looking for,” Nelson said. “I think that’ll make us stronger going forward. We took it as, if we can still win the region championship and be where we are now, that shows who we are. But now it’s one game at a time. It doesn’t matter; you got to go win.”
For Hurricane, the story of the season was missed opportunities. On a breakaway opportunity for the Tigers on Tuesday, Mikenna Decastro ran out of the goal and made a great play on the ball to stop a potential score. This was crucial as the Tigers would get a late penalty kick goal from Anna Hall, but their late game run was not enough to get the win.
“Our girls have played hard this season and have had a lot of success,” Hurricane head coach Craig Butcher said. “When you come down and the games are decided by one goal or less, you know that you’re playing competitive. We’re just proud of these girls. I think they have a lot to look forward to, and they have the potential to go all the way if the choose too.”
Now its on to the playoffs, for which Nelson had the following to say:
We’re going to just go one game at a time. Our defense has been outstanding the whole season, and we’ve always had a one or two goal game, so that’s what we get. If that’s who we are then that’s ok, as long as we continue to do what we’ve been doing, playing great defense. We’ve been here before, so there’s an opportunity for us, I think, to go win state this year.
Both Hurricane and Desert Hills have byes in the first round, finishing No. 6 and No. 9 respectively.
With the bye games, both teams will play their first games on Oct. 16. Desert Hills will play Cedar at home, in a battle of Region 9 teams, with the game scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Desert Hills beat Cedar both times during the Region 9 regular season.
Hurricane will play on the road against Stansbury at 4 p.m the same day.
Snow Canyon 3, Crimson Cliffs 0
At Snow Canyon, the Lady Warriors got two goals from Heidi Smith and one from Ashlee Nyberg as Snow Canyon shut out Crimson Cliffs 3-0.
With the win, the Warriors finish in the region tied for first place and are the No. 3 team in the Class 4A RPI rankings going into the playoffs. They will have a bye in the first round of the state playoffs.
Crimson Cliffs finishes the year at No. 20 in the RPI rankings and will travel to No. 13 Juan Diego Catholic. That game will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Pine View 1, Dixie 0
At Pine View, the Lady Panthers defeated the Flyers 1-0.
At No. 10 in the final RPI rankings, Pine View will have a bye, playing the No. 7 ranked Sky View on the road Oct. 16.
Dixie finished No. 18 in the rankings, and will travel to No. 15 Ben Lomond on Saturday. The game will begin at 1 p.m.
Cedar 7, Canyon View 3
In a back-and-forth battle at Canyon View, the Cedar Lady Reds pulled away with four goals in the last 30 minutes to defeat the Falcons.
Cedar had led 3-1 at halftime, but Canyon View managed to score two quick goals to tie the score early in the second half. Shortly after, Lexi Bird of Cedar beat the goalkeeper to the ball in the box and kicked in the go-ahead goal to put the Reds up 4-3. Bird later added another insurance goal, as did teammate Becca Boyer. Emily Schuh scored three goals for Cedar.
No. 11 Cedar has a bye and will play No. 6 Desert Hills in the second round. This will be the third time the teams have played, with Desert Hills winning the first two matchups.
At No. 19, Canyon View will travel to No. 14 Uintah to play on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this story.
Region 9 girls soccer standings (as of Oct. 9)
- (tie) Snow Canyon 11-2-1 (12-2-2)
- (tie) Desert Hills 11-2-1 (11-5-1)
- Hurricane 8-5-1 (9-6-1)
- (tie) Pine View 8-6 (9-7)
- (tie) Cedar City 8-6 (9-7)
- Dixie 3-10-1 (3-12-1)
- Crimson Cliffs 3-11 (3-13)
- Canyon View 2-12 (4-12)
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