SANDY — Desert Hills High School’s soccer dream season came to an end on Friday, May 13, after suffering its only defeat of the season to Juan Diego High School 3-0 at the Utah State 3A Semifinals.
Juan Diego controlled the entire game by penetrating the Thunder’s defense with ease, and the frustration and sadness of the defeat showed on the face of Desert Hills coach Logan Fielding.
“We didn’t mark up very well,” Fielding said of the Thunder’s defense. “They were making too many easy runs, and we were stabbing at the ball. We didn’t play a whole lot of possession today.”
Possession of the ball was one of the factors Fielding was worried about prior to the game. He said he felt the team needed to control the ball in order to win.
“We had a couple of close opportunities at the first of the game—we could have had two goals,” he said. “[The ball] was sitting on the line, and we just couldn’t put it in the net.”
Those scoring chances came after Juan Diego’s initial energy to start the game started to wear off. The Thunder weathered the Juan Diego storm to start the game, and it looked as though Desert Hills was going to score first. However, as the ball was about to cross the line, a Juan Diego defender kicked it off the line and back toward midfield.
It didn’t take long for Juan Diego to capitalize on Desert Hills’ missed opportunity. Emmanuel Hurtado, Juan Diego’s junior midfielder, worked his way into the Thunder defense with 15 minutes remaining in the first half and kicked home a goal to the right part of the net. Murtado added a second goal in the second half on a breakaway.
The scoring ended on a goal by Juan Diego’s Andrew Montoya.
Fielding tried to find the positives in this semi-final loss.
“It’s a special group of boys that we had this year,” Fielding said. “It’s tough to beat what we’ve done this year. Obviously winning the state championship was the ultimate goal, but I couldn’t be happier for these boys and what they’ve accomplished.”
Fielding said he was a little concerned with next year’s team. He said he knows the young players are very capable of winning, but losing as many seniors as Desert Hills is losing does make Fielding uneasy.
“It’s good for these younger boys to be here and see this,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll motivate them a bunch for next year.”
Copyright St. George News