Another draw in region play as Pine View locks up Desert Hills

Desert Hills vs. Pine View, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Apr. 12, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A tie in soccer means different things to different people. Thursday night’s stalemate between Pine View and Desert Hills at Thunder Stadium left a bitter taste in D-Hills’ coaches’ and players’ mouths. The Panthers, on the other hand, were pretty satisfied with the 1-1 double overtime final.

“I am extremely proud of my players tonight,” Pine View coach Ryan Duckworth said. “We had a few players out tonight and I called upon others to step up and play. The team was up to the challenge of playing Desert Hills again. They didn’t want to let the game get away from them like they did with the previous match with Desert Hills.”

The two teams met almost exactly a month ago, with Desert Hills leaving Panther Stadium with a decisive 4-0 victory. A tie at home was very dissatisfying for Thunder skipper Benji Nelson.

Pine View’s Alex Rodriguez (27) and Desert Hills’ Jonny Rogers (9), Desert Hills vs. Pine View, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Apr. 12, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“It was a night where Desert Hills had 50 to their one shots,” he said. “They never even crossed the half line in the two overtimes and they maybe crossed three times the entire second half. But that’s the game of soccer.”

Pine View led 1-0 off the strength of a first-half goal by Naosuke Tanaka. The Thunder got the equalizer in the second half when Walker Heaton was able to drive one home.

Perhaps the biggest moment of the game came with time running out in regulation. A Desert Hills attacker was taken down in the box and given a penalty kick. With the game hanging in the balance, Panther goalkeeper Ryley Duckworth stabbed away the penalty kick and helped send the game into overtime. Neither team could find the net in the two 10-minute OTs.

“Ryley did have a lot of saves,” said Coach Duckworth (also Ryley’s dad). “My stat taker has him listed with 20 saves, but the biggest save was that PK to push it into OT. Any coach would have been proud of his keeper with a play like that. Him and the rest of the defense are playing tough.”

Pine View’s Ryley Duckworth (1), Desert Hills vs. Pine View, Boys Soccer, St. George, Utah, Apr. 12, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Though the Panthers didn’t get the win, they did extend their unbeaten streak to five games. Just a little over three weeks ago, Pine View was 1-6 overall and 0-3 in Region 9 matches. After their recent success, the Panthers are now 4-6-2 overall and 3-3-2 in region play. With 11 points, Pine View trails Canyon View by a single point for fourth place. Region 9 gets playoff spots for its top four teams.

“I am happy with the effort level they gave against a good quality team like Desert Hills,” Coach Duckworth said. “I believe things are starting to come together for this team. We still have work to do and the key for us now is to stay focused on the task at hand.”

Desert Hills, meanwhile, is 6-2-4 overall and 4-1-4 in region. That’s a lot of ties. Region 9 matches have ended in a tie six times this season. The Thunder have tied Snow Canyon twice and also played to a draw against Dixie and Pine View now. D-Hills has 16 points, good enough for third place. But the Thunder also have a bye left, unlike the two teams directly ahead and two teams directly behind them.

Desert Hills, which got a big boost from keeper Preston Hodges Thursday night, hosts Canyon View on Tuesday, while Pine View is at Dixie that same night.

Thursday night’s result
Pine View 1, Desert Hills 1 (F/2OT)

Region 9 boys soccer standings (region, points, overall)
Dixie  5-0-3, 18, 7-0-3
Snow Canyon  5-0-3, 18, 5-0-5
Desert Hills  4-1-4, 16, 6-2-4
Canyon View  4-4-0, 12, 5-4-2
Pine View  3-3-2, 11, 4-6-2
Hurricane  1-6-0, 3, 1-9-0
Cedar  0-8-0, 0, 1-9-0

Friday’s games
Dixie at Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Hurricane at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.


Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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