SANDY – For the Snow Canyon Warriors, sweet, sweet redemption was the story Friday after their 1-0 shutout victory over Logan in the 3A state semifinals.
“We were so close last year,” SC coach Marc Wittwer said. “And it hurt. We have been thinking about it all year. It just feels amazing, and we are not done.”
With three minutes to go before halftime, wing Axel Vichi broke loose down the right side of the field and rocketed a cross that connected perfectly with teammate Maxwell Kemp, who was camped back door and who headed it to the bottom left corner and beat the keeper for the go-ahead goal.
“Axel has been beating kids on that outside all year,” Kemp said. “And he can take on anyone. He got that touch and crossed it in and it’s beautiful. It was right after Angel (Muniz) got that yellow card and I was playing defensive mid and he sent me up there. Coach has been telling me all year that I am up there to use my head and to do something with it. I saw a couple of them there earlier and that one ended up right there and I happened to be able to get on the end of it.”
Wittwer also commented that Kemp’s goal was the crowning point of some quality possession play by his squad.
“We had actually not played our best soccer in the first half,” he said. “But for a minute or two there, we started to see everything come together and we had some nice possessions and things starting to work together. Actually, one of our coaches made a comment that ‘Wow, there it is, it’s starting to happen,’ and next thing you know we started playing as a team and the goal came together.”
The Warriors then put the game into the hands of goalkeeper Quinn Hargis, who led his defense to a shutout win. Despite a few close calls, SC generally dominated the second half.
“It was a great team effort,” Hargis said. “It feels great to be the first Snow Canyon team in the finals. Hands down to everyone, these are the most passionate kids I know. I can’t even explain what is going through my mind in those (close scare) moments, you know I come out when I feel like I need to come out and I try to make the right decision and I learn on my teammates a lot to know when to come out.”
The Snow Canyon Warriors improve to 15-3-1 and will play Juan Diego for the state championship Saturday at 11 am, at Alta High School.
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