Woods Cross • Winning a championship often involves dealing with new, difficult situations.
If Skyline’s boys’ soccer team wins the school’s first title Thursday against Logan in the Class 4A state championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium, what the Eagles learned in a 4-2 semifinal victory over Box Elder Tuesday could make a huge difference.
4A boys’ soccer championshipSkyline vs. Logan, 4:30 p.m. Thursday
At Rio Tinto Stadium
Skyline coach Shawn Kennedy could not remember being scored on first all season. So when Box Elder took a 1-0 lead early in the game on a shot by Trevan Watson, the Eagles seemed a bit stunned. That panic seemed to get worse as the half ended and the second one began.
"The kids started panicking," Kennedy said. "It is important that this team, when they play, they play together and they communicate. At that point, it started getting a little rough. We made a couple of substitutions and calmed people down."
So, after regrouping at halftime, Skyline suddenly got goals from Brigham Jackson and Sheldon Martineau in less than a two-minute span about 15 minutes into the second half.
"That was the first game the whole year we’ve been scored on first," Martineau said. "We talked to each other at halftime and pumped each other up. We came on the field and it showed it. We worked hard."
Something was obviously different in that second half. After playing tentatively, Skyline came out aggressively. Jackson’s goal seemed to relax the Eagles a bit and they quickly scored again to go up 2-1. When Gary Buckley scored with 10:35 remaining to make it 3-1, Skyline looked to be in control.
But Box Elder refused to quit. Preston Faerber scored with 4:27 left to make it a one-goal game.
That left things in doubt until Hunter Kone took a nice pass from Josh Jacobs and scored in the final minute of the game to secure the victory.
"The second half, everyone talked it out," Kennedy said. "They calmed themselves down. We started passing and moving, playing our kind of precision soccer. We had four different goal scorers, which is phenomenal. Most of our games, we’ve scored at least two goals, which is a great thing on our behalf."
Logan 1, Maple Mountain 0 • Beto Rincon took a pass from Tony Martinez in the 33rd minute of the first half and buried it in the back of the goal to move the Grizzlies into the 4A soccer final.
That set up what Rincon described as a nerve-racking second half.
"With Still 40 minutes left, it is nerve-racking," said Rincon. "Our defense is unstoppable. They are great. We don’t let anything past us. With Alan [Guadarrama] in the goal box, we are super-confident in our defense."
Despite the low score, Maple Mountain did not seem to be able to mount much of a challenge against Logan’s swarming defense.
"It’s kind of our system of play," Grizzlies coach Sven Rasmussen said about his team’s strong defense. "It’s kind of a unique one. I’m not giving any details, but it’s very free-flowing and defensively solid."
Like Skyline, Logan has never won a boys’ state soccer title.
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