Prep boys' soccer: Murray downs Skyline in blustery conditions
Sandy • The stage never is bigger for Murray's Clayton Powell than when he takes the field against regional rival Skyline.
Somehow it becomes even bigger when played at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Powell put away the lone score of the game in the 51st minute after being fouled hard at the top of the box to lead the Spartans past Skyline at the home of Real Salt Lake on Tuesday.
While four Skyline defenders linked arms to block the free kick, Powell dusted himself off and took aim. Not waiting for instructions from the sideline, he approached the ball and curved it over the leaping fullbacks to the top right shelf.
The Murray faithful screamed "Goal!!!" as Powell was swarmed by his teammates.
"So beautiful," Spartan keeper Tanner Critchfield said. "I can't believe that came off of Clay's foot."
The conditions at Rio Tinto were dreadful.
Blustering winds swept across the field, which deadened any punted balls. Powell noticed that Murray had difficulty building momentum thanks to the weather and Skyline's defense.
"The wind was a big factor," Powell said. "But in the second when we had the wind at our backs, we started to play really well."
Skyline keeper Steve Floor was challenged throughout the game. He sacrificed his body to make stops at times, while the soccer gods smiled upon him by pushing Murray's kicks wide or against the post.
"I felt like we made him look really, really good," Powell said. "We should have scored a lot more goals today, so props to him."
The Spartans improved to 4-2-1 with the victory.
"Getting one at Rio Tinto feels pretty good," Powell said with a big smile. "Our team played great. I was just lucky to finish one off for the win."
Murray 1, Skyline 0
O Clayton Powell converts a free kick for the game's lone goal at Rio Tinto Stadium.