4A state soccer: Desert Hills falls to Sky View in championship game

Desert Hills soccer players hold aloft the runner-up trophy after losing the 4A championship game 1-0 to Sky View at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, May 11, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Kendra McArthur, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Desert Hills High boys soccer team’s bid to repeat as state 4A champions fell short Saturday afternoon, as the Thunder got shut out in the title game by the Sky View Bobcats, 1-0.

Playing in the spacious Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, the two teams waged a defensive battle that was still scoreless after just over one hour of playing time.

Then, with about 15:30 left in the second half, Sky View took a straight-on shot on goal that was deflected to the side by Desert Hills goalkeeper Preston Hodges, but Sky View’s Tate Thurston seized the opportunity to drill the ball into the net from the left side.

That proved to be the game’s only score, ultimately giving the Bobcats the state title.

Desert Hills soccer players hold aloft the runner-up trophy after losing the 4A championship game 1-0 to Sky View at Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, May 11, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Kendra McArthur, St. George News

“Sky View is a very strong and athletic team,” Desert Hills head coach Benji Nelson said afterward. “Congratulations to them for the win. It was a good game. Both teams had chances throughout the game. Unfortunately, they found the back of the net and we didn’t.”

“We had a great season and sometimes we fall short. We had opportunities, but we didn’t capitalize on them today.”

Nevertheless, Nelson said he was proud of his team for making it back to the state title game for the second straight year.

“We have had two great seasons,” he said. “To have a championship and a second-place trophy back-to-back is amazing. We will now look forward to next year with a majority of our Thunder family returning.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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