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Prep soccer: Wasatch Academy and Waterford advance to 2A title game

First Published      Last Updated May 14 2016 09:52 pm


Boys’ soccer » The Tigers will meet high-scoring Waterford in the final.

Draper • Most young athletes idolize someone and Wasatch Academy soccer player Ikkyu Fuji is no different.

After his golden goal free kick from about 30 yards out gave the Tigers a 3-2 victory over Providence Hall on Friday at Juan Diego in the semifinals of the Class 2A tournament, he was thinking about his hero.

Pointing to his colorful orange and black cleats, Fuji said he wears them because that's the style of his idol Keishke Honda, who plays for Milan and the Japanese national team.

On this day, though, it was Fuji's turn to be a hero in a tight, hard-fought contest.




With time running out in the first overtime, he got a chance at a long free kick and buried it to give the Tigers a shot at the 2A title at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Alta High against Waterford.

"That is my first time in my life," he said. "I have been practicing it. I am so happy. It was my first goal from a free kick. This a dream of my life. ... When I hit it, I saw it coming. I expected it."

Wasatch Academy coach Victor Munoz said an assistant had been practicing the shot with Fuji all day Thursday, so he thought he would try it.

"It worked," said the coach, who had praise for unheralded Providence Hall. "They are a tough team. Their defense is hard to get around but we figured it out. I think we deserved this one."

Providence Hall coach Lexi Stuart praised Fuji's shot.

"We should have put somebody on post," she said. "But, let's be honest, it was a great ball."

Providence Hall, a fourth-place seed who knocked off a number one and two seed to make it to the semifinals, almost won it with time running out in regulation when Jordan Zaharias sent a bullet toward the Wasatch Academy goal that hit the post.

The Patriots took a 1-0 lead 13 minutes into the contest when Luke Reno scored from the left side and held that lead at halftime.

But the Tigers got quick scores from Eli Fischberg-Robinson and Gabi Cheng to take a 2-1 lead 14 minutes into the second half, only to have Zaharias tie it.

Waterford 7 Manti 4 • In the other semifinal, Waterford continued its hot goal scoring in the first three rounds as Tait Reynolds, Daniel Beesley and Cale Lopez each scored two goals to put the Ravens into the title game for the third year in a row.

In the first three games of the tournament, the Ravens have outscored their foes 19-4.

Reynolds gave Waterford a 1-0 lead early in the game but Manti tied it 1-1 on a goal by Daniel Fruitos, the first score the Ravens allowed in the tournament.

Lopez and Patrick Dowd scored in quick succession to make it 3-1 but Manti rallied to make it 3-2 on a shot by George Lemus, the first of his two goals. Beesley and Reynolds got the last two goals of the half to make it 5-2.

Manti never recovered, though Court Olson gave the Templars hope by cutting the margin to 5-3. Beesley responded seconds later for Waterford, and Lopez ended all doubt with about 10 minutes to play.

 

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