Ogden • Roque Ceja and the Ogden Tigers attacked relentlessly for nearly 40 minutes, only to be frustrated and turned away by a scrappy Judge Memorial back line and some spectacular saves by goalkeeper Andrew Matthews.
Even when Ceja finally broke through late in the first half of Thursday's 2-0 first-round Class 3A win, the Tigers felt somewhat unsatisfied.
The senior forward hit a low, rolling shot that bounced on the bumpy pitch at Mount Ogden Park, seemingly destined for Matthew's arms. Instead, somehow, it slipped past the keeper for Ceja's team-best 13th goal of the season.
"They did not deserve that first goal," Ogden coach Sterling Castle said afterward. "That keeper played a hell of a game. He made a lot of great saves. He did not deserve that first goal."
So there was some extra joy and relief when the Tigers piled atop forward Dario Robles late in the second half, after the senior beat Matthews to the far post to seal the victory and advance in the tournament.
"I was really hoping we did get another one," Castle said. "I didn't want those guys to go out like that. I'd have taken it, honestly, if we'd have won with that one goal but I didn't want it to be that way."
The Bulldogs' young squad a starting lineup that featured five sophomores and three freshmen Â held its own for long stretches Thursday. The Judge defense showed maturity, clearing balls and sparking counterattack opportunities.
Still down a single goal in the second half, the Bulldogs had multiple chances to even the score. Freshman Moises Diaz, the team's leading scorer, headed a ball just wide of post. And junior Ameda Tarr came off the bench to provide a spark. Tarr blasted a left-footed shot just over the crossbar and put a header on frame, but into the arms of Ogden keeper Auggie Garcia, who recorded his 11th shutout of the season.
The first-round exit was the third in three years for the Bulldogs.
Ogden, meanwhile, is looking for a shot at redemption after sawing a comeback effort against Juan Diego in last year's semifinals fall short.
"To me, as a forward, I just want to get into the championship and give everything," Ceja said Thursday, "give everything that I've got."
Ogden 2,Judge Memorial 0
R Ogden goalkeeper Auggie Garcia records his 11th shutout of the season.