TOOELE — Both Stansbury and Tooele were looking for their first victory of the season when they renewed their Region 11 boys soccer rivalry Tuesday afternoon. Both had endured early struggles, but they knew a win over the other could help turn things around.
Stansbury was the team that got it done. Three different players found the net, and the Stallions beat their rivals 3-0. Ian Thompson and the Stallion defense picked up the shutout.
“Coming into this game we just wanted to turn our season around,” said Jara Eshete, who scored on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute. “We had it in our heads what we needed to do and we went out and did it.”
Stansbury got things started in just the first minute when Travis Hanson found the net off a feed from Zach Sharp to give the Stallions a 1-0 lead. Momentum was on Stansbury’s side early, and the Stallions were able to ride that momentum for the rest of the game.
Each team stood pat for the rest of the half, but Stansbury had many chances to score. Sharp, Darius Johnson, Tyler Williams and many other Stansbury players set their teammates up with great passes all day long.
Stansbury threatened again several times early in the second half, but couldn’t find the net. The Stallions were finally able to break through in the 53rd minute, however, when a foul was committed by Tooele inside the 18-yard box. Eshete scored on the penalty kick to make it 2-0.
“To get a goal against a rival was great,” said Eshete. “I had been looking forward to this game for a while.”
After more great defense and several chances to score, Stansbury found the net again. Freshman Nate Johansen scored off another corner kick from Sharp, and Stansbury held a 3-0 lead the rest of the way.
“The ball brushed against my head and I thought, ‘Oh man it’s over,'” said Johansen. “But then they took a sloppy touch and I put it in.”
With the win, Stansbury moves to 1-3 overall, and 1-2 in Region 11. The Buffaloes drop to 0-4-1, and 0-1 in Region 11.
CJ Pronk is a Deseret Digital Media intern and a senior at Stansbury High School. Follow CJ on Twitter @BigCeeJ3113