ST. GEORGE — The two 4A girls soccer playoff quarterfinal games involving Region 9 teams were both nail-biting thrillers, with Crimson Cliffs edging region rival Snow Canyon, 2-1, in double overtime and Pine View winning in a penalty kick shootout at Green Canyon.
Crimson Cliffs and Pine View both advance to Thursday’s semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. Crimson Cliffs, the tournament’s 12th seed, will play top-seeded Ogden in the first semifinal at 4 p.m., after which 10th-seeded Pine View will face Ridgeline, the No. 3 seed, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The winners of those two semifinal games will then meet for the championship game at 2 p.m. Friday at Rio Tinto. Click here to see full bracket.
Here’s a recap of Saturday’s action, along with a photo gallery featuring pictures from both games:
Crimson Cliffs 2, Snow Canyon 1
At Crimson Cliffs, the 12th seeded Mustangs faced a tough quarterfinal test from region rival and 13th-seeded Snow Canyon, with whom they had split their two regular-season matches.
Kate Young struck first for Crimson Cliffs on Saturday, taking an assist from Taylor Fielding and scoring in the second minute of the game.
About 20 minutes later, Snow Canyon answered, with Ashley Nyberg scoring an equalizer, assisted by Tessa Thornton. The score stayed tied 1-1 until halftime and all through the second half of regulation, as both teams took turns dominating.
Snow Canyon appeared to be in control throughout the first 10-minute overtime period, Crimson Cliffs head coach Andy Yergensen told St. George News.
“The Crimson players seemed out of energy, and Snow Canyon seemed ready to score as they earned a few corner kicks and kept pressuring the Crimson defense,” Yergensen said.
Still, goalkeeper Ellie Nielsen and the Crimson defense managed to keep the ball out of the net.
Then, during the second overtime, it was Crimson Cliffs’ turn to take charge.
“We controlled the midfield and won a few corner kicks,” Yergensen said. “Then, with about one minute left in the second overtime, Jantzyn Losee outraced a Snow Canyon defender to the ball and weaved through a few defenders and had a good look at goal, but it was blocked out of bounds for a corner kick.”
With just 28 seconds left in the second overtime, Emily Gibb launched the corner kick where it was headed into the goal by sophomore Ashley Cuevas, giving the Mustangs a 2-1 sudden-death victory.
Following Cuevas’s golden goal, Crimson’s bench erupted and the players rushed the field in celebration.
“Sometimes these kinds of games come down to one team making a play, or one player stepping up and making something happen,” Yergensen said. “That was the case today. Emily Gibb made a great corner, and Ashley Cuevas got a perfect header into the net.”
“We had some great play from our entire team. I didn’t feel like we had any breakdowns against a very tough Snow Canyon team,” he added.
Yergensen said his team is already looking forward to their semifinal matchup vs. top-seeded Ogden at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.
“We have a few players cramp up and also a few hamstrings that limited some of our players,” he said. “I hope we can recover in time for our semifinal game on Thursday.”
“We are a still a young team and these players don’t give up. They always give their best,” Yergensen added. “Some may say we are overachieving in our second year, but this team has potential, and we are trying to maximize that potential and play more as a team instead of 11 individual players. If we can do that, and do that more often, we will be a dangerous team. It’s possible we are peaking at just the right time.”
To watch a one-minute video of highlights from the game, including clips of all three goals scored, click here (courtesy of Crimson Cliffs soccer via Hudl).
Pine View 1, Green Canyon 1 (Pine View wins shootout 4-3)
At Green Canyon in North Logan, the 10th seeded Pine View Panthers pulled off an upset of No. 2 seeded Green Canyon Wolves. The Panthers prevailed in a penalty-kick shootout after two scoreless overtime periods.
The game was scoreless in the first half, but Emma DeBerard got the Wolves on the board with a goal two minutes into the second half.
Then, approximately 12 minutes later, Pine View’s Mairen Maclellan scored an equalizer, with teammate Katelyn Leavitt providing the assist off a cross.
The score stayed tied 1-1 throughout the rest of regulation and both overtime periods, sending the game into a penalty-kick shootout.
Both teams made three of their first five PK attempts, then each team missed its sixth kick. Following a Green Canyon miss on their seventh try, Pine View’s Maclellan booted the game-winner into the net.
“Kaylee Eaton was great for us in goal today, including coming up big for us in the shootout with two saves,” Pine View head coach Sam Johnston said, adding, “Third time’s the charm for us in shootouts this season. Our team defense kept us alive throughout the second half.”
“These girls don’t quit. They don’t panic or get down,” Johnston said. “They just keep playing hard each game and find ways to get the job done. Nothing is being handed to them. We earned it today. The girls all put in the work and earned a win.”
Pine View will next face Ridgeline, the 4A state tournament’s No. 3 seed, in the semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy at 7 p.m. Thursday.
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