Prep soccer: Alta tops Juan Diego for inaugural Real Cup
Sandy • It's a good thing the concessions stands weren't open Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium, because anyone who stepped away from their seat midway through the first half would have missed all the action.
Alta scored three goals in a five-minute span in the first half of a 4-1 victory against Juan Diego to capture the inaugural Real Cup.
The Hawks (7-1-1) benefitted from two own goals credited to Alta's Avery Smith (29th minute) and Tanner Valerio (31st) to break a 1-1 tie and never looked back.
"It's tough being cold and slick and getting used to the big field," said senior forward Corey Arthur, who scored the Hawks' first goal on a free kick in the 10th minute. "It's good to see we could come out and win."
Scoring goals in a flurry is nothing new to the defending Class 5A champions, who have now outscored opponents 25-2 this season.
However, playing from behind was a new experience. Juan Diego's Emmanuel Hurtado beat goalkeeper AJ Snell from 20 yards out in the 3rd minute and provided the first deficit of the season for Alta.
"It was a new situation for us, but I think we did well, scoring right after," Arthur said.
The goal snapped a 323-minute shutout streak for Alta. The only other goal allowed this season was in a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Bingham on March 20.
Smith's goal bounced off the back of Juan Diego's Chris Ward, who was tangled up with Smith, battling for a cross from Alta's Sam Sower.
Juan Diego goalkeeper Jesse Reifsnyder's shot ricocheted off a Soaring Eagle defender and glanced just inside the left goalpost. Sophomore Will Bagrou headed in a corner kick in the 33rd minute to beat Reifsnyder for the fourth and final time.
"This was fun. I think it was a nice thing Real did," Alta coach Lee Mitchell said. "For the boys to play on this field, it's incredible for them. An experience of a lifetime."
It was the first meeting between the neighboring schools. Alta advanced to the final with a 2-0 victory against Sky View on Friday. Juan Diego (9-3) defeated Jordan 4-1 Friday.
Storylines Real Cup tournament
R Alta scores three goals in a five-minute span in the first half and win the Real Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium.
• A Juan Diego goal three minutes in was the first Alta has allowed in regulation this season.
• It was the first meeting between the south valley neighbors.