ST. GEORGE – In a game where the wind wreaked havoc on both teams’ shots, it was the wind-aided final shot of the night that gave Pine View the 2-1 upset victory in overtime over the Dixie Flyers at Walt Brooks Stadium Tuesday night.
After a foul call with 4:49 remaining gave the Panthers a free kick from 30 yards out on the left sideline near the Pine View bench, sophomore forward Sergio Diaz hit a booming shot that shifted direction in flight and made it past Dixie goalkeeper Ethan Poulton for the winning goal. Diaz’s kick appeared to be going high when the ball suddenly picked up speed and changed trajectory in a downward motion just under the top bar.
“I knew I had to take a chance,” said Diaz. “We were getting few opportunities. I did not know it was good until my teammates started jumping on me.”
The Flyers will lament the missed opportunities. Dixie had several more shots on goal during regulation and overtime that either just missed or were stopped by Panther goalkeeper sophomore Javier Gaona.
“This is the best Javier has played,” said Pine View head coach Sam Johnston. “He is young and getting better every game.”
The Panthers avenged a earlier loss to Dixie three weeks ago.
The game had gusts of wind over 50 miles per hour on the field and with rare exception, maintained 25-30 miles per hour the whole match.
“Wind is the worst weather condition you can have,” said Johnston. “You can’t really prepare for it.”
Oddly enough, each team scored in the game when the wind was against them. Dixie got on the board first. With just under 17 minutes left in the first half, Dixie forward Luis Bernabe dribbled down the left side then found Francisco Guzman coming down the middle. Guzman put the ball into the right side of the net to give Dixie the advantage, 1-0.
Prior to that Dixie freshman forward Jose Morales had a rebound goal at the 32:23 mark that was disallowed because the original shot was called offsides.
With just over 31 minutes to play, Dixie’s Tyler Bennett kicked a rocket that hit the top bar and caromed back out.
Two minutes later, Pine View senior forward Michael Wade took a free kick after a foul at the 50-yard line. Poulton blocked the shot, but the wind took hold of the rebound and threw it back at Poulton who had to block the shot again.
With 21:17 to play, a shot from 20 yards out by Dixie’s Johnny Acosta sailed high. The Flyers continued to put on the pressure. With 5:42 to play, Morales’ second shot on goal hit the left goal post and caromed out. Three minutes later midfielder Konner Aitken delivered a perfect pass to Acosta. With goalie Gaona coming out, Acosta’s shot went wide right.
In the second half, the Flyers had the wind at their backs. However, Pine View would get the first shot on goal. Wade took the pass and slipped past a Dixie defender down the left side. His shot sailed past Poulton, but was wide right.
Dixie had a great chance to score halfway through the second half with a corner kick. Defenseman Colton Chamberlain took the pass and in one motion drilled a kick point blank at Gaona. Gaona blocked the kick but the rebound went straight to Acosta. Acosta’s rebound shot was kicked away by a Pine View defenseman.
With 14:15 to play, Bennett saw his second shot on goal blocked away by Gaona. Bennett had a third shot blocked by the goalie with 10:55 to go. The shot rebounded to McLane Keenan, whose shot deflected off the right post.
With 9:20 to play, Poulton’s goalie kick sailed 65 yards in the air where Bennett deflected the pass with a header that was caught by Gaona once again.
Pine View finally got on the board with 6:58 remaining in regulation. After Dixie’s Jose Garcia was given a yellow card for holding, Pine View got a free kick from about 30 yards out. Poulton blocked the initial kick, but the ball found its way to Wade, who easily tied the score on the rebound.
Dixie’s Acosta got a shot with four minutes remaining that sailed high. Neither team was able to get a credible shot the remainder of the game.
In overtime, the wind again favored the Panthers. But again it was Dixie that would threaten first. Flyers forward Av’ry Green took a pass from Aitken and drilled a shot from 20 yards out. Gaona was there to catch the shot.
Two minutes later Diaz clinched the win.
In both the regulation and overtime, Dixie had a 14-4 advantage for shots on goal. But in soccer it’s not just the shots you take, but the shots you make. And for Sergio Diaz it could not have been sweeter.
With the win Pine View improves to 8-5-1 overall, 7-2 in region play. The Panthers will host Snow Canyon on Friday in a battle for second place.
Dixie suffered its first loss in region play but remains in first place with an overall record of 9-3-3 and 8-1-1 in Region 9. The Flyers will host Hurricane on Thursday night.
Desert Hills 2, Canyon View 1
Blake Evans and Christian Cottle each scored to help the Thunder protect their home turf Tuesday night.
Desert Hills continues to hold a slim lead over Hurricane for the fourth-place spot in Region 9, which would earn a playoff berth. With a region record of 5-5-0, the Thunder have 15 points, three behind Snow Canyon, but two ahead of the Tigers.
Dixie leads the region with 25 points and Pine View has 21 for second place. The Thunder have two region games left.
It was the third goal of the year for Evans and the fifth in his high school career. Cottle also tallied his third of the season.
Desert Hills is off Friday and then closes the season with a home game against the Tigers next Tuesday and a roadie at Cedar Apr. 25.
Canyon View, which got its lone goal from Johnathan Hernandez (his eighth of the year), fell to 5-8-1 overall and 2-8-0 in region play.
Hurricane 2, Cedar 0
Kaden Jackson was at it again, picking up his fifth shutout of the season and his 14th in his career as a goalkeeper for the Tigers.
Hurricane continues to make a push for a playoff spot, winning its third game in a row. The Tigers are 6-5-2 overall and 4-4-1 in region, good enough for 13 points, just two behind fourth-place Desert Hills.
Hurricane is at Dixie Thursday night. The Tigers tied the Flyers 1-1 earlier this season.
Cedar, 1-11-1 overall and 0-9-0 in region, is at Canyon View Friday.
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