4A high school soccer semifinals: Green Canyon earns first trip to finals, Mountain Crest takes down Crimson Cliffs
The 4A boys soccer state semifinals were played at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Thursday where No. 5 seed Green Canyon and No. 6 seed Mountain Crest advanced to the 4A championship game while No. 8 seed Dixie and No. 2 seed Crimson Cliffs had their seasons cut short.
Green Canyon 2, Dixie 0
For the first time in school history, Green Canyon has punched its ticket to the 4A championship game after a 2-0 victory over Dixie.
It was a well-rounded win for the Wolves who had contributions throughout the roster in the 4A semifinal win.
The Wolves didn’t find a goal in the opening 20 minutes but they kept at it with patient passes and constant pressure and finally they broke through.
Green Canyon’s Colby Knight was the first to strike for the Wolves. Knight scored a header off a nice cross-pass from Jovanni Torres.
“It’s crazy. We’re all so happy and ready to get them,” said Knight.
“It’s our first time in Green Canyon history making it to the final. At the start of the season, I thought we had the pieces but couldn’t put them together but towards the end of the season we finally got everything in place and ready to take them on.”
“We became a brotherhood and had fun.”
No less than five minutes later, the Wolves’ Brayden Jensen knocked in a ball that ricocheted off the Dixie goalie to put Green Canyon up 2-0 before the end of the half.
“These guys have been buying into the system all year and for the most part they didn’t get a chance. These guys are just fighting, they want it so bad and they’re fighting like crazy,” said Green Canyon head coach Kirt Sadler.
“It a big deal for these boys that it’s not just a Ridgeline, it’s not just a Mountain Crest, that these guys can break through, that these guys are good enough, and they have the talent.”
In the second half, Green Canyon played with the same energy and while the Wolves didn’t score, they made sure Dixie wouldn’t either. Sadler says defense is a strength of this Wolves roster.
“We’ve been playing really solid on defense without making any errors and when we do that as a team, we’re hard to break and hard to get chances on,” said Sadler.
With the 2-0 victory over Dixie, No. 5 seed Green Canyon will be playing in the championship match for the first time in program history.
“I don’t want to get overconfident because we have a lot of work to do,” said Sadler.
“Both these teams are great. Mountain Crest is a hard matchup for anyone, and we watched some film from Crimson Cliffs and they’re just as good. But our confidence is feeling good.”
Mountain Crest 3, Crimson Cliffs 1
Mountain Crest is headed to the 4A championship game after weathering an early 1-0 deficit against reigning 4A champion Crimson Cliffs.
Crimson Cliffs got the best of Mountain Crest earlier this season, beating Mountain Crest 2-0 back in March.
However, Mountain Crest has brushed off the rust since and got its revenge in its 3-1 victory in Thursday’s 4A match.
“We hadn’t practiced outside, and we were two to three games into the season at that point. We finally got some practice outside and figured out what we needed to fix. These guys haven’t ever quit since then,” said Mountain Crest head coach Justin Beus.
Things went south for Mountain Crest early when Crimson Cliffs’ Camden Squires scored off a penalty kick in the ninth minute.
Crimson Cliffs played tight defense for most of the half, stopping Mountain Crest at every push.
Mountain Crest’s Dallin Anderson followed a ball that was deflected by the Crimson Cliffs keeper and put it back in, equalizing the score 1-1 before halftime.
Anderson’s goal seemed to give his team a boost of confidence in the second half. In the opening 90 seconds Mountain Crest’s Michael Hale snuck in a goal off a free kick from midfield.
“It’s the craziest feeling. At first, I didn’t think it went in, but then I heard all the fans screaming. I felt on top of the world,” said Hale.
“It feels so good. It’s been a long hard season, but we’ve been fighting hard and practicing every day.
“Every time we’ve taken a loss, we come back the next day even stronger. It’s been a good season, good team, good players, and a good band of brothers.”
“We’ve just got confidence in our team. We knew even down 1-0 that we were going to bring it back.”
Mountain Crest was out to prove that the Crimson Cliffs goal in the opening minutes was the only one it would get.
Mountain Crest was playing tough defense and anticipated passes to make sure Crimson Cliffs would not get a breakaway.
In the remaining minutes of the game Crimson Cliffs was desperate for a goal but the Mountain Crest defense had none of it.
It was actually Mountain Crest’s Samuel Hunt who scored in the final 15 seconds of the game to put the emphasis on the 4A semifinal win.
“It feels good man. These guys are ready, they’re playing hard, and you can see they didn’t let down,” said Beus.