High school boys soccer: Bountiful beats Mountain View in shootout, advances to 4A semis
BOUNTIFUL — Josh Ludlow had a hunch, and he played it perfectly.
When Friday's 4A boys soccer quarterfinal clash between Bountiful and Mountain View went into a shootout, Ludlow, the Braves' senior goalkeeper, had a sneaking suspicion where Cameron Hall, the Bruins' second shooter, was going to try and put his penalty kick.
So when Hall, who had scored a last-gasp, game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation to deadlock things at 2-2 and send it into overtime, fired his PK, Ludlow leaped full out to his left.
"I don't want to give away what I do," Ludlow said, "but I can read what they're doing."
And, sure enough, Ludlow was right on the money and batted the ball away. And since Bountiful's first four PK shooters each successfully converted their shots, when Mountain View's fourth shooter banged his attempt off the crossbar, the Braves' team and fans erupted in joyful celebration following the dramatic 4-2 shootout victory that vaulted Bountiful into next week's 4A semifinals against Murray.
"It's not the way I like to win," Ludlow said, "but it's certainly an option. I don't feel a lot of pressure going into it, but I've been in a lot of PKs but not a full-on shootout. I'm still all jittery.
"I thought it was going in," he said of the Bruins' final bid to try and keep the shootout going, "but then I heard the bang (off the crossbar) and I knew it was game over."
So, how tense was it?
"The scariest thing in my life," said Bountiful sophomore Alex Simpson, who scored the Braves' first goal of the game. "Our goalie, Josh Ludlow, he's amazing; he saved us."
Ludlow's coach, Lou Plank, also had high praise for his senior goalie after he helped lift the Braves' record to 12-3-1 with their 10th win in their last 12 games.
"He's an outstanding 'keeper and is the reason we've got so many Ws this season," Plank said.
This one, though, was far from easy.
Mountain View took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Bountiful misplayed a ball deep in its own end of the field and the Bruins' Edgar Cordova capitalized with the game's first goal.
That score stood up until halftime and beyond, as Bountiful got very few good scoring opportunities because Mountain View's midfield and backline repeatedly kept the Braves from getting a decent shot.
And on those rare occasions when they did, Bruins' goalie Austin McBride was there to keep Bountiful off the scoreboard.
"After we made that defensive error at the back on their first goal, I was hoping that the boys would respond mentally, and they did that," Plank said. "They just rolled up their sleeves and went back to work. So they responded well mentally, and that's something we've been working on.
"The momentum shifted in the second half; we were getting lots of opportunities, and that's a credit to the boys and their spirit and endurance. So they responded well; our captains showed up big; and some young players responded and made a big splash."
In the 68th minute, Bountiful's Simpson, whose dead-on shot in the 62nd minute was deflected away by McBride, got to a high-bouncing ball that McBride couldn't corral and drilled it into the back of the net to tie it at 1-1, giving the Braves a huge, energizing lift.