Sandy • The Dixie Flyers aren’t necessarily experts on the city borders for the greater Salt Lake City metropolitan area. But the members of the boys’ soccer team didn’t need to be told that their opponent Friday, in the Class 3A state semifinals, was playing in its hometown.
At Alta High School, Dixie beat Juan Diego 1-0 to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
Although the Flyers came by bus to the game in Sandy earlier, Dixie (14-3-2) was faster to the ball in the first half and the one goal that was scored 30 minutes into the contest eventually held up.
Last year, Dixie lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champ Wasatch. But, two years ago, the Flyers won the 3A title.
“The goal from the last minute of last year was to come out here and get this next year and get that championship — and keep the Dixie spirit going,” said Dixie keeper Hayden Mathews. “We knew that even though it wasn’t a home field, it was an advantage [for Juan Diego], and they wouldn’t have bus legs or anything. But that didn’t change the way we were going to play.”
Most of the shots on goal before intermission, in fact, were from the St. George visitors. An a couple of instances, forward Alex Green raced ahead of the Soaring Eagle defenders to get chances on goal.
The Flyers’ senior did end up scoring the lone goal, but it happened to be on a free kick from 35 yards away. That took place with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
“It just went to the far post. The goalie thought someone was going to get there, but nobody did — so it just went in,” Green said. “We knew they liked to possess the ball and get us down the sideline. We were just trying to eliminate the passing game and then counterattack and push forward.”
• Cedar 4, Pine View 1
• Dixie 1, Juan Diego 0
• Cedar vs. Dixie, 11 a.m.*
• Rowland Hall 4, Parowan 0
• Waterford 3, Delta 1
• Rowland Hall vs. Waterford, 1:30 p.m.
Note: Both championship games played at Rio Tinto Stadium
R Juan Diego has four chances in the final seven minutes to tie the game, but each shot goes awry.
• Saturday’s Class 3A championship will pit teams that have played each other twice. Dixie won at Cedar earlier this year and Cedar won at Dixie.