ST. GEORGE – Michael Wade scored two second-half goals to lift Pine View past Park City 4-2 in the first round of the 3A state boys soccer playoffs Thursday.
The Panthers, No. 2 seed from Region 9, will travel to Stansbury Saturday for the quarterfinals. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
Pine View coach Sam Johnston said Wade wears down opposing defenders with his energy.
“With Michael, what you’re going to get is 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time,” Johnston said.
After a back-and-forth first half, Wade put the Panthers ahead for good in the 49th minute.
From the top of the penalty area, he unleashed an arrow into the middle of the net that had too much pace for the Miner keeper.
Then Wade sunk the Miners in the 69th minute. Kalob Dudley belted a cross from the right sideline to the far post. Wade rose and smartly headed the ball down and into the net.
“He was going up against guys who seemed like they were 7-foot-2,” Johnston said, “and he was winning as many balls as they were (in the air).”
The way Wade headed it in was almost a carbon copy on John Brooks’ goal in the USA’s win over Ghana in the World Cup last summer — rising high and then heading the ball sharply downward where it skipped, a la a basketball bounce pass, underneath the helpless keeper’s arms.
“That’s what we teach,” Johnston said. “Head down, snap at the waist, to get the ball down. It’s nice when they’re able to play good technique in a game.”
The teams engaged in an entertaining, end-to-end first half that saw four goals and several swings of momentum.
The teams seemingly played with a mutual agreement to hum the ball through midfield, creating chance after chance.
Park City struck first when Gunnar Stray-Gunderson scored at the top of the box.
The Panthers answered right away. In the 11th minute, Michael Cardenas showed some individual brilliance on a run to the top of the box. He laid it off to Wade, whose shot went across the face of goal and landed at the feet of Sergio Diaz.
Diaz punched it into the top of the net to tie the game.
But Park City went ahead again when the ball on a free kick ricocheted off the wall, and Greg Shagen scrambled to push it in.
But just four minutes later, Federico Resendis was shoved in the penalty area to draw a penalty kick. Ethan Baer tucked it nicely into the right post about mid-height.
“My approach usually is to stare down the left post until the last second,” Baer said. “The keeper will usually go where your eyes go.”
But not this time. The Park City goalkeeper dove to his right, but Baer’s mid-height kicked was just far enough right to escape his grasp and still go in although Baer said it grazed the keeper’s outstretched hands.
Baer said the quick answers to both Miners’ goals made a big difference.
“It’s very important (to get a fast response) so that we don’t get into that mindset of being down for the whole game,” Baer said. “When we get the quick goal, it counteracts that.”
Baer later had the play of the game — a bicycle kick to knock away what may well have been a Park City goal.
Baer said he saw the ball heading toward an opponent near the post and realized he needed to act.
“I didn’t want to give any goals, so I had to take the chance, sacrifice my body,” Baer said.
SNOW CANYON 3, UINTAH 0: The visiting Warriors scored all of their goals in the second half and beat the Utes on the road Thursday to advance.
Axel Nino started the scoring for Snow Canyon with a goal from just outside the 18-yard box, then assisted on a goal by Angel Muniz. Muniz returned the favor later in the half and assisted on Nino’s second goal of the game.
Jose Camacho had the clean sheet for the Warriors.
JUAN DIEGO 4, HURRICANE 0: The Soaring Eagle led by a 1-0 count over the Tigers as the second half began, but converted a pair of penalty kicks five minutes apart to blow the game open.
Other 3A playoff scores
Snow Canyon 3, Uintah 0
Juan Diego 4, Hurricane 0
Ben Lomond at Dixie, 1 p.m.
Snow Canyon at Payson, 1 p.m.
Pine View at Stansbury, 1 p.m.