Sandy • Given the way Riverton has played defense over the past six weeks, it seems only appropriate that the school would win its first state boys’ soccer title by a 1-0 score.
Riverton earned the 5A title Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium by holding off Fremont time after time behind goalkeeper Parker Seegmiller’s 12th shutout of the season.
How good has Riverton’s defense been?
It did not give up a goal during the state tournament and since an early April loss to Pleasant Grove, it has given up just three goals in its last 12 games.
“We only needed one,” said Seegmiller of the lone goal by Nick Tanner. “We only needed one.”
Seegmiller credited the defenders in front of him for keeping the ball out of goal as Fremont mounted a furious second-half attack filled with near-misses.
“We do really well defending that kind of stuff,” said Seegmiller. “We see that high pressure a lot of the time.”
Riverton coach Paul Mozier said he didn’t feel comfortable with that one-goal lead, but was proud his defense made it hold up.
“Our defense bonded together,” he said. “They are really solid on the ball. They don’t misplay many balls. They all cover each other. They just have each other’s back.”
Tanner’s goal came almost from nowhere. It happened so quickly it seemed to almost surprise even him.
Hunter McFall drilled a kick toward the goal from near midfield and suddenly Tanner just flicked it into the net in the game’s 14th minute.
“Honestly, I found myself in the right spot,” he said. “I was going to try to get out of the way. Richard [Anderson] made a nice kick and I just flicked it in. I was actually shocked. I think we caught the keeper a little flat-footed.”
Fremont was in it until the very end, rallying toward the goal in the final seconds for one last stab it.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh, crap, we’re going into overtime,’” said Tanner. “That’s what I was thinking.”
Mozier praised his senior leadership.
“They have an incredible bond,” he said. “They are so close on and off the field. We’ve got 10 seniors and they are just tight. They are a really close group. They worked hard and never stopped.”
Riverton 1, Fremont 0
R Riverton goalie Parker Seegmiller records his 12th shutout of the year.
• Nick Tanner scores in the 14th minute.
• Riverton wins its first boys’ soccer championship.