Region 9 soccer: Warriors inch out win vs. Thunder, retain 1st place

Snow Canyon's Sarah Evans (22), Desert Hills vs. Snow Canyon, Girls Soccer, St. George, UT, Sept. 19, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Tuesday was rivalry day in Region 9, and the games showed it. Cedar and Canyon View squared off with the Falcons looking for revenge from an earlier blowout loss. Dixie was looking to come back from a tough loss last week after taking over the standings. Desert Hills and Snow Canyon played right down to the final seconds. The day did not disappoint. Here is a recap of the action:

Snow Canyon 2, Desert Hills 1

Jacie Mooring scored the game-winning goal in the 77th minute from 35 yards out to complete the Lady Warriors comeback against the Thunder.

“I was really worried that it was going to go over,” Mooring said. “But then I saw it start dipping and I knew that it was going to go in.”

The game started out with each team showing stifling defense. Neither team could find the back of the net for most of the first half and had to attempt longer shots just to get near the goal.

Desert Hills’ Kodee Bracken (19), Desert Hills vs. Snow Canyon, Girls Soccer, St. George, UT, Sept. 19, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“Their defense did a pretty good job at staying organized,” Lady Warriors head coach Kenny Kunde said. “We were really trying to mix up some runs and do different things up top. Their defenders handled that really, really well. Their defenders made (our) opportunities not very good.”

The Thunder were able to get on the board when Kodee Bracken took a shot from the right side of the box. Megan Rodgers was able to block the attempt, but the ball took a bounce to her left toward the goal. Rodgers picked the ball up right at the line with no goal called and the Thunder players calling for a score.

After the officials discussed it, they decided that the ball had crossed the line, giving the Thunder a 1-0 lead.

“We really don’t think (the goal) was in,” Kunde said. “We’ll have to look at the film, but it looked like it was on the line.”

The Lady Warriors were able to tie the game in the 30th minute when Arantxa Melendez took a free kick and placed it in the upper right portion of the goal.

Snow Canyon’s Brielle Hoskins (3), Desert Hills vs. Snow Canyon, Girls Soccer, St. George, UT, Sept. 19, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“Thus far this year, we’ve only had two goals scored on us that were by play,” Thunder head coach Benjji Nelson said. “Everything else was free kicks, throw-ins and corners. There has not been anybody that’s really gotten by our defense and scored.”

The teams went into halftime tied at one goal each.

The second half showed the physical side of both teams, but also the mentality that each team has in wanting the Region 9 championship. Kunde stressed that it was a step toward that goal, while Nelson implied a great learning experience for his young team.

The Thunder dodged a bullet during the 59th minute as the Lady Warriors had the ball near the goal for 30 seconds, taking shot after shot. Each shot was blocked by one of the Thunder’s defensive players.

Finally, in the 77th minute, Rachel Bunting passed over to Mooring, who put the shot only inches above the goalie’s hands.

“It was amazing,” Mooring said. “The pass was so good. My team put in a lot of effort this game and I think we deserve to win.”

Snow Canyon’s Megan Rodgers (00) and Desert Hills’ Drew Morby (6), Desert Hills vs. Snow Canyon, Girls Soccer, St. George, UT, Sept. 19, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

With only 3:12 left in the game, the Thunder needed a miracle to tie the game. Nelson said that his team never gave up.

“They kept fighting until the end. We kept fighting until the whistle blew,” he said. “They’re not giving up. They’re working hard.”

The Thunder showed determination. With less than a minute to go, Drew Morby was able to head the ball in from just outside the goalie box, over the goalie’s hands, and set the Thunder side of the field in a frenzy. The celebration did not last long however, as Morby was called for offsides, although not by a far distance.

“That’s something we’ve been stressing with our defenders,” Kunde said. “We run for it in practice if they don’t do it. When that ball gets dropped, they have to sprint at least five yards to make that step to catch the forwards. We did exactly that.”

The Lady Warriors held on for the final minute, completing the comeback.

Kunde said his team is taking the right steps and the hard win against the Thunder is helping them.

“That right there was a step we needed to have,” he said. “Stealing games on the road is how you win region championships. And we got a steal today at Desert Hills.”

First-place Snow Canyon (6-2 in region) will travel to Cedar High School on Thursday (4 p.m.) while Desert Hills (4-3-1 in region) has a bye before playing Pine View at home next Tuesday.

Cedar 4, Canyon View 3

The Lady Reds were able to hold on in the final minutes to beat rival Canyon View on the road.

Logann Laws and Rachel Hunt each scored two goals in the first half to give the Lady Reds all their goals.

The Falcons had two goals in the first half and one in the second. Jessica Hinck, Mia Smith, and Tylee Bullock each had a goal.

The Lady Reds (5-3 in region) are in third place and will play at home against Snow Canyon on Thursday while Canyon View (1-6-1) will host Dixie.

Dixie 4, Pine View 1

The Flyers were able to comeback from a tough loss last week to beat PV at Panther Stadium.

Kelcee Call scored two goals for the Flyers, who improved to 5-1-1 in region, two points behind first-place Snow Canyon. Kennedy Warnick and Lacee Durrant each scored a goal for the Flyers.

The Panthers scored first with Erin Callahan scoring off of a Whitney Christenson corner kick.

Dixie will travel to Canyon View on Thursday (4 p.m.) while Pine View (0-8 in region) will travel to Hurricane.

Thursday’s Games
Dixie @ Canyon View, 4 p.m.
Snow Canyon @ Cedar, 4 p.m.
Pine View @ Hurricane, 7:30 p.m.
Desert Hills – bye

Region 9 Standings (Region, Points, Overall)
Snow Canyon 6-2-0, 18, 7-3-1
Dixie 5-1-1, 16, 5-3-2
Cedar 5-3-0, 15, 5-7-0
Desert Hills 4-3-1, 13, 5-6-2
Hurricane 3-1-3, 12, 5-1-3
Canyon View 1-6-1, 4, 4-6-1
Pine View 0-8-0, 0, 0-10-0

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