Pine View High School punched its ticket to Rio Tinto Stadium for the 3A soccer state championships on Friday with a 2-1 win over Snow Canyon at Alta High.
“It feels really good,” said Sam Johnston, Pine View’s head coach. “We were here last year and lost a tough one to Cedar. Making it back was kind of nice and the outcome was much better today. I’m proud of how my team performed today.”
Ethan Baer, a senior defender and one of the team captains for Pine View, scored the second Panther goal from nearly 50 yards out off a free kick.
“I just planned on putting it on goal,” said Baer. “I just wanted to test the keeper, if I could put it on goal from that far, that’s what I wanted to do. I hit it as hard as I could and it had just enough to get right over him.”
After Baer’s goal, two Warriors, Branson Stafford and Yetzel Carrillo, got red-carded for arguing with the referee, forcing them to play down two men for the final 30 minutes of the game. The goal gave Pine View a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute and it was too much for a shorthanded Snow Canyon team to overcome.
“I’m proud of them,” said Danny Parkhurst, the head coach for Snow Canyon. “Our boys played hard, I thought we played better with nine guys than we did with 11. I thought if we could have played that way with 11, we would have had a different result.”
Snow Canyon didn’t give up. The Warriors battled through the second half and Kevin Guevara Chillin scored to make it 2-1 with four minutes to play. Johnston said the last five minutes of the game were chaos and he was glad to see his team pull it out.
The first half was even as both teams controlled the ball and attacked often but couldn’t break through the defense for a goal. With the half nearly over, the Panthers struck first with a Michael Wade goal five minutes before the half to take a 1-0 lead into the half.
“Coming into this game, I thought whoever got that first goal momentum-wise, energy-wise, it was going to be huge,” Johnston said. “For us to be able to get it and go into halftime, it was really big for us.”
The Panthers now move on to play the Dixie Flyers on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. for the 3A state championship.
“We need to stay level,” Baer said. “We need to keep with our possession game and play solid defense. If we do that and win it out of the air, I think we’ll be good.”