Sandy • Instead of minimizing the pressure of the objective they set out for themselves at the beginning of the season, the Judge Memorial Bulldogs instead embraced it at every turn. It’s been eight years since Judge last hoisted a boys’ state soccer trophy, when the Bulldogs won the Class 3A crown in 2010.
So, how often have these Bulldogs talked about ending that drought?
“Every day at practice,” said junior forward Joe Paul. “Every day.”
This group is now so very close and eager to add to the trophy case inside Judge Memorial High School. The Bulldogs dominated the Delta Rabbits in the first Class 3A semifinal Friday afternoon at Alta High School, advancing to the 3A title game in emphatic fashion in their 8-2 victory. Judge enters the championship match riding a 12-game winning streak with all the momentum it could desire.
“Every single game we’re killing it, and every game we’re excited to play,” Paul said. “Nothing was given to us.”
To ensure their ticket to the title game was punched, the Bulldogs sprinted by the Rabbits with a balanced scoring attack. Paul had a goal and two assists, while sophomore forward Dominic Arias came off the bench to score a hat trick. Sophomore Jack Terrill added two goals, while fellow sophomore Gedeon Baende and Anthony Aguilar added one each in the rout.
The young, talented and quite deep Judge forward corps showed why they’re the class of 3A throughout the frigid match. Judge coach Kelly Terrill, who was on the sidelines when the Bulldogs won it all in 2010, was asked why this team has what it takes to raise the trophy on the turf at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman on Saturday evening.
“Well, we score goals,” Kelly Terrill said. “We score goals. That’s what we do. The team works together to put that ball in dangerous places for those guys to score. And they finish. They work hard to finish.”
Paul kicked off the goal parade, running onto a poor clearance by the Delta defense and poking it into the back of the net in the 23rd minute. Eight minutes later, Jack Terrill doubled the lead. The Rabbits, already chasing the match, saw their uphill climb steepen when a red card thinned them to playing with 10 players for the remainder of the match in the 32nd minute.
Delta’s Jager Springer gave his team life in the 37th minute, scoring a loose ball in the box, but with less than a minute remaining in the first half, Paul’s cross to the back post hit Arias in stride for his first of three goals on the day, putting Judge up 3-1.
Seven minutes into the second half, Baende made it 4-1 and less than five minutes later, Aguilar’s shot from distance deflected in, putting Judge up 5-1. Terrill added his second on an assist from Paul and Arias wrapped up his hat-trick with back-to-back goals in two minutes.
“We ended up really rolling in the second half,” Kelly Terrill said.
Rolling all the way to another championship game appearance with the hopes that their wealth of dynamic scoring talent can repeat it once more Saturday in Herriman when it matters the most.