Sandy • Few Utah high schools have enjoyed as much athletic success as Skyline. Since the east side Salt Lake County institution opened in 1962, it has fielded numerous state championships in many sports.
But, until Thursday’s dominating 3-0 victory over Logan in the Class 4A title game at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Eagles had never placed a boys’ state championship soccer trophy into one of their bulging cases.
Skyline 3, Logan 0Skyline, one of the most successful sports schools in Utah history, had never won a boys’ soccer title.
» Nate Jensen, the Skyline midfielder who scored the first goal on a rebound shot off the goalpost, had scored only one other goal all season.
This Eagles soccer team changed that with a stifling defense, a rebound goal from a midfielder who found the net for only the second time this season, and believing in theme "the team is the star."
"It’s like a dream come true," exulted Skyline coach Shawn Kennedy, who coached many of these players on a competition club team. "The boys have been up and down and through a lot together. They pulled it together. The seniors just got the group united. They kept everybody on the same page, kept working hard, and tried to stay humble through this whole thing."
Skyline, known for scoring early, got a wake-up call when Logan’s Anthony Martinez had what would have been the game’s first goal called back on an offsides call.
After that, the Eagles simply dominated.
Nate Jensen, a quiet unassuming midfielder who had scored only one other goal the entire season, gave the Eagles the only score they would need when he took a rebound shot by Sheldon Martineau that hit the goal post and put it back in about 13 minutes into the game.
"Sheldon made an excellent run," said Jensen. "I just tried to follow him up. I was hoping."
With just over 14 minutes to play in the half, Hunter Kone gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
"Before the game, I was envisioning it that exact moment," said Kone, who said he dreams of playing on the Rio Tinto field as a higher-level player. "It came across and I could envision it before I got the ball. There was a little touch and a near-post finish. Words can’t express how I feel about it. It is amazing."
Martineau put the finishing touch on the 3-0 win with a breakaway goal with about 14 minutes left in the contest.
"I just think we wanted it bad this year," said Martineau. "We’ve kind of had not as good of runs the last few years. We decided to pick it up this year. Given the team we had, we took our chances. Here we are. We played very solid today. Everyone stepped up. It was a big team effort for us to shut them out."
And part of effort involved some good stops by goalkeeper Will DeSantis.
"Our defense came up big," he said. "We didn’t get affected by the fans. … It’s amazing. It’s great to make history. I am glad we could come out here and put it away and get us a state championship."
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