High school boys soccer: Kaleb Maynard's hat trick paves way for Bountiful Braves' win over rival
BOUNTIFUL — Kaleb Maynard might've been the man of the hour Friday.
But he was quick to credit his teammates and their tremendous togetherness, unity and unselfishness as the real reasons behind the Bountiful High boys soccer team's success this season.
Maynard scored in the game's opening minute, one of three goals on the day for the quick senior forward, and that paved the way for the Braves' impressive 5-0 victory over cross-county rival Woods Cross on Friday afternoon at Millcreek Junior High School.
"It's been three years since I did that," Maynard said of his hat trick. "And it feels good, I'm not gonna lie. "But it all comes from my team — it's not just me; it's the team. Out of the three years I've played high school soccer, this is the closest-bonding team I've been on. We all do stuff together. We all like each other. And we're all happy to share in the team's success.
"We're doing good," Maynard said of the Braves' unbeaten 5-0 record in Region 6. "As long as we keep up the team-first attitude we have and keep working hard, I think we can go far — as far as that team spirit will take us this year."
Maynard got Bountiful off and running with his first-minute goal, which came on an assist by Carson Tinker. Nate Smith made it 2-0 for the Braves with a goal in the 29th minute, with Tristan Booth picking up the assist there.
Bountiful maintained that two-goal margin until halftime, and then Maynard struck again just a couple of minutes into the second half to make it 3-0.
Six minutes later, Maynard ran down a high-bouncing ball that the Woods Cross goalie couldn't quite clear out near the 18-yard line, and Maynard knocked it in from there for a goal that gave Bountiful a 4-0 lead.
In the 51st minute, the Wildcats' goalie bobbled a ball out in front of the goal mouth, and Bountiful's Alex Simpson was there to quickly punch it into the net from point-blank range for the final 5-0 margin.
Bountiful goalkeeper Josh Ludlow got the shutout, benefiting from some strong play by his back-row defenders and coming up with some solid saves when he needed to as the Braves improved to 7-2 overall.
And if not for a couple of acrobatic second-half saves by Woods Cross goalie Taylor Kennard, the margin of defeat could've been worse for the Wildcats (2-7, 1-4 Region 6).
"Our defense was really good at getting the ball down the field and launching the attack out of the back end," said Bountiful coach Lou Plank, whose team has allowed a total of just four goals in its five league games.
"And our midfield did a great job of maintaining possession and attacking, too. I'm really pleased with the way our midfield is playing. They're linking us out of the backfield into the attack really smoothly and getting us into the attack quickly."
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