When the Bingham soccer team shut out Skyline and Taylorsville to start its season, goalkeeper Taran Meyer figured his team was working out the kinks and getting sharp against less talented opposition.
Then Bingham shut out No. 1 Brighton in overtime and held defending 5A champion Alta scoreless in another overtime win.
It’s a team effort
By shutting out its first four opponents — and doing so to Alta and Brighton in double overtime — the Bingham boys soccer team played almost 400 minutes without giving up a score.
Goalkeeper Taran Meyer is one of the best keepers in the state, but he is quick to point out that the four defenders in front of him — Jake Peterson, Garrett Kordsiemon, Aaron Reese and Tyler Devenberg — make so many plays before he’s ever forced to commit to stopping anything.
After allowing zero goals in nearly 400 minutes, Meyer is finally ready to say it: There’s something special going on with Bingham’s back line.
"I have a lot of buddies that play at those schools and when you hear those names — Brighton and Alta — it gives you that little push."
First-year coach Matt Kennaley knows he has a special group of defenders. He says his last line of defense, Meyer, is the backbone.
"You can’t win state without a great defense, and you can never discount what a quality keeper brings to the team with his confidence and leadership. … The team all feeds off him — they listen to him, and having a guy like that back there is huge."
Of course, having a great keeper does not by itself ensure that a defense will be special. Kennaley points to senior defenders Jake Peterson, Garrett Kordsiemon and Aaron Reese as key to Bingham’s playoff chances.
"The biggest thing is Taran has played with these guys for the last three years, and those three defenders know how to play together, and they all want to coexist to make things work," he said.
Meyer shares his own description of the fourth defender, junior Tyler Devenberg.
"Tyler’s another worker, a guy who has a sturdy build and doesn’t back out of tackles," said Meyer. "He’s not leaving the challenge unless he leaves with the ball."
All the pats on the back came to a halt last week. Murray made mincemeat of the Bingham defense, banging home two first-half goals and holding on for a 2-1 win.
Kennaley said his guys spent the weekend dwelling on their mistakes, but the ultimate lesson learned is that his team will never look past an opponent again.
"The first four games, nothing got through, and if it did, Taran stopped it," said Kennaley. "We’ve just got to shake it off and know that we can play with the Altas and Brightons of the world, but we have to keep our eye on the first prize, and that’s taking care of our own region."
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.