SANDY — Spring break nearly cost the St. Joseph soccer team a region victory.
The 2A Central team was missing four starters due to vacation or injuries when it traveled to play region foe Waterford on Wednesday afternoon.
“Today was a rough day for the kids,” St. Joseph coach Derek Tate said after narrowly defeating the Ravens 2-1 in overtime. “They just battled the whole time, and they kept believing they were going to do it. They finally put it together at the end and had a few breaks go their way.”
Waterford (0-4-0) took the lead early on when the ball conveniently bounced into the path of Sean Keough after a teammate knocked down a cross.
“It took a nice bounce in front of me,” Keough recalled. “I side-volleyed it with my foot into the ground, and it bounced in.”
The Ravens controlled the possession and the momentum for the majority of the game following that scoring play. With just five minutes remaining, however, the Jayhawks struck back.
“It was getting worrisome, we weren’t getting many opportunities,” Tate said. “We reshuffled about eight different times trying to figure out where to put people because we were missing so many. Finally we found something that worked.”
The Jayhawks (4-1-3) used the same positioning in overtime and set up another, very similar looking score just two minutes into the extra period.
Jones was once again on the spot, assisting junior David Donlevy, who corralled the ball and knocked it into the net with his body.
Ravens coach George Shirley said it was disappointing to lose the game after holding the lead for so long, and the Waterford faithful thought perhaps Donlevy had created the final score with his hand instead of his torso.
“It’s always a letdown to lose, especially when there is any kind of controversy,” Shirley said. “It was a hard-fought game for both teams. I thought we did well to win the majority of the possession, and they capitalized on their opportunities.”
One player who made a world of difference as he capitalized on an opportunity was the St. Joseph goalkeeper.
“The freshman who’s never played goal in his life?” Tate asked when questioned about his winning ’keeper. “That’s Garrett Bina. He had no idea what he was doing, and he did a great job.”
The coach added that Bina was a hero, stepping up to take over for first team All-State goalie Mitch Koehler, who was one of the four missing starters.
“We were thinking, ‘without Mitch, what do we do?' To miss him in a big game was hard, but I though (Bina) did a great job.”
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.