With Dixie and Cedar soccer scoring wins this week, the race for the remaining spots in the upcoming Region 9 playoffs is growing tighter.
Two teams battling for position within the remaining berths, Desert Hills (4-3-2 Region 9, 6-5-2 overall) and Pine View (2-5-1, 6-5-1) met at Panther Stadium to sort things out.
Wind dominated the first half, keeping both teams scoreless. With the clock nearly run out, the two looked to be headed for a redo of their last meeting, which ended in a scoreless draw.
With less than three minutes remaining, Desert Hills’ Kenzi Done found Brittany Terry for the game winner and a 1-0 Thunder victory.
“Pine View’s a very good team, especially on their own field. We knew coming into it,” said Thunder head coach Shaley Allen. “And with the weather conditions, we were hoping to get up in the first half.”
The cool gusts of wind reassured the blanket-clad spectators that fall has officially arrived. The wind also wreaked havoc on both teams being able to maintain possession.
The Thunder attacked relentlessly early in the first half, flooding the Panthers defensive third with through balls. But none stuck.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t put it into the back of the net,” Allen said. “We had some good chances, but just couldn’t capitalize on anything.”
Desert Hills’ pressure earned them the advantage in corner kicks and shots to open the first half.
However, with about 12 minutes left in the first, and despite the wind working against them, Pine View was able to keep the ball on Desert Hills’ side of the pitch. The Panthers came up with three shots sent in from the wing that skipped along in front of the net, however, untouched.
“We made some good adjustments at half time,” Allen said. “It took us a long time, but we eventually got it in there.”
With more back and forth action dominating the second half, the goal boxes gained the most attention.
“All three keepers that came to play tonight had a great game. Our keeper came out and had an amazing second half, stepped up and won some great balls for us,” said Allen.
Lauren Bushnell earned her second save of the season, highlighted by a fingertip save on a shot from Panthers freshman Aubrey Day, who was knocking on the door all evening.
Day’s shot skipped along the goal line heading to the far post, but Bushnell got just enough to trade the goal for a corner kick that came to nothing.
“We just kept pushing together as a team, and finally we found that one ball through and we got that one chance,” said Terry, the game’s lone goal scorer.
The Panthers defense came up with a stop at midfield. The Thunder got the ball back quickly after and the aggressive defense resulted in a through ball from Done to Terry beginning near the halfline.
“I saw the run going and saw the open space,” said Terry, who increased her goal total to 14. “(Done) played it perfectly, and I was able to run onto it, settle the ball, get it to where I needed it to go, and I was able to place it right into the back of the net.”
SNOW CANYON 1, CANYON VIEW 1: Kailey Cox drilled a shot into the top left corner of the net from 25 yards out with 13 minutes left in regulation as the Falcons tied the Warriors on Thursday.
Snow Canyon (4-2-2 Region 9, 5-4-2 overall) struck first early in the second half when Jenny Stewart scored on a penalty kick. Both sides had good scoring chances in the 20 minutes of overtime, but Stewart was denied on the best opportunity with 20 seconds remaining when her shot from just inside the box was punched over the top of the net by Falcons goalkeeper Jaycee Slack.
Canyon View improved to 1-6-2 and 3-8-2.
DIXIE 3, HURRICANE 0: After a stalemated first half, the Flyers put together a run of three goals in six minutes to increase their region-best record to 8-0-1, 9-2-1.
“I have to give credit to my assistant coach, Crystal Soderquist, who suggested we move a couple players around after halftime,” Flyers head coach Burt Myers said. “The girls (Alexa Estridge and Aubrey Challis) proved her right.”
With 18 minutes left in regulation, Challis gave up a scoring opportunity to feed Estridge for the game’s first goal. Two minutes later Estridge returned the favor and then again two minutes later.
“They just combined for three to four connected passes,” Myers said. “It was really pretty. Unselfish soccer.”
Hurricane fell to 0-9 and 2-9.
Follow Garrett on Twitter @G_Faylor