Sandy • In the game of the year, time couldn’t move fast enough for David Ignacio.
“It felt like two days or something,” the Dixie forward said. “I looked at the clock and I thought five minutes passed, and it was barely 30 seconds that had gone by.”
That’s what happens when you’re in the process of upsetting the top-ranked team and defending state champions.
Dixie held on to nip top-ranked Wasatch 2-1 in the Class 3A semifinals Friday at Jordan High School. The Flyers, who were ranked No. 2 behind Wasatch for most of the season, avoided a third straight semifinal exit and will play Juan Diego, last year’s runner-up, Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium at 11 a.m.
“We’re in uncharted territory for our school,” coach Burt Meyers said. “So we’re pumped.”
Dixie lost to Wasatch 1-0 earlier this season, but did so without three players who played critical roles in Friday’s win.
Tadd Challis, who was recovering from a knee injury suffered during football season, recorded the assist on Dixie’s first goal, while a pair of players who were suspended on March 3 came up big in the second half. Sophomore Luis Rabago drew a penalty in the 59th minute that allowed Ignacio to bang home the winning goal on a penalty kick.
“It was nice to have them all in this game,” Meyers said.
Wasatch drew even in the 58th minute after a 19-yard free kick by Brett Shapiro found the net. Shapiro was mobbed by his teammates and drew a yellow card for pulling off his jersey.
Dixie answered before he had a chance to put it back on.
Juan Diego 3, Ogden 2 • Despite two goals against them in the final eight minutes, the Soaring Eagle held on to earn their second straight trip to the 3A title game.
Juan Diego dominated for the first 73 minutes and led 3-0 when Ogden’s Diego Diaz broke through in front of the goal. Two minutes later, teammate Dayton Wright found the same success.
“We’ll take the win,” Juan Diego coach Scott Platz said. “When they got the first one, you get a little tighter and then that second one it was just, ‘Can we hold them off at this point?’ ”
Juan Diego scored a breakaway goal in the 18th minute. The critical insurance goals, however, came later. Gerry Garcia followed a Richardson miss in the 45th minute, and Andrew Montoya scored on a free kick in the 63rd.
Richardson said the Soaring Eagle have an advantage, having lost to Wasatch in last year’s title game.
“We know what the pressure feels like,” he said, “and how tough it is to actually be there and all the pressure that everybody’s watching.”
Class 3A soccer championship
P Dixie vs. Juan Diego, 11 a.m. Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium