BRIGHAM CITY — The Box Elder Bees had been waiting a couple of years for this, so when they got a chance to break through against the Royals, they made it a painful one that might sting in Roy's memory for awhile.
Box Elder scored three first-half goals, two of them coming off the foot of junior forward Corvin Arveseth and one on a perfectly placed free kick by senior midfielder Eduardo Macias, and turned in a fierce defensive effort en route to a 3-0 Region 5 victory over Roy on Friday.
With the win, the Bees' first boys soccer triumph over the Royals since Roy returned to the 4A ranks in 2012, Box Elder improved to 3-1 to maintain its share of the league lead and raised its overall record to a glistening 7-1.
"Roy's a good team and they've had us since they've been down in 4A," Box Elder coach Nate Bywater said. "We haven't beaten them for two years, so it's good to get a victory. It feels really nice. I'm not gonna lie.
"Defensively, I think we kind of shook 'em up and took 'em out of their game a little bit. You could see that they kept trying to change their tactics and change their tempo, and we were able to adjust when they adjusted. So certainly, defensively our team was able to adjust quickly and get in their way and shake 'em up.
"I think the next game we play (against Roy) is going to be a little bit different and they're going to be a little bit more prepared for our adjustments," he said. "Like I said, they're a good team so I know they'll come out fighting."
After missing a point-blank scoring chance in the opening minute, Box Elder got on the scoreboard in the 28th minute. Roy goalkeeper Kaden Brinkerhoff made a superb diving save to knock away a penalty kick by the Bees' Conner Olsen, but Arveseth hustled to get to the loose ball first and punched it into the open net for a 1-0 lead.
"I was just thinking, 'This is why I follow up,'" Arveseth said. "I saw the keeper come out and I said, 'Well, I've got two options. I might as well go for the goal' (rather than pass the ball back). It was right to me. It couldn't be any better."
Then in the 36th minute, Macias lined up a free kick some 30 yards away and drilled a low-flying rocket into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
"Eddie's one of our playmakers that we have in the middle," Bywater said of Macias. "We have a couple of them, and when Eddie gets in there, it's always special to see him on the ball because he is so quick. ... He has a great eye for a goal and he's got a history of just finding those special goals, and today was certainly one of them.
"He's been a great player for us over the years and this year, obviously being his senior year, he wants to show well and help his team out wherever he can. And he did it today and hopefully we'll continue to build him up and be able to show him off a little bit more."
In the closing seconds of the first half, Arveseth got the ball about 16 yards straight away from the net on a pass from Shad Mortensen. Arveseth promptly put a low, screaming shot past the Royals' keeper that made it 3-0 at halftime.
"I was just thinking, 'I've done this before. I need to finish it for the team.'" Arveseth said. "That's what I do. Shad had left it for me, saw me coming so he left it for me. It was just good communication and everything."
"He's certainly one of our goal-poachers," Bywater said of Arveseth. "We love to have, I think any team loves to have those guys that just kind of find some way to get in the way and find the ball with their foot and toe-poke it, knee it, ear it.
"I don't know, they just to find a way and he's certainly one of our guys that we've been trying to get in a groove. And today he a had a great game. He found himself in opportunistic positions and the results were great for him."
In the second half, the Royals (1-2 Region 5, 3-4 overall) stepped up their effort on both ends of the field, but sure-handed Box Elder senior goalie Isaac Herbert corralled or swatted away everything that came in his direction.
"One of the things that we've been working with Ike on is his presence in the box," Bywater said of Herbert. "When you have your keeper in the back, he's got to be that leader and that quarterback, and one of the things that we've certainly been working on is that intangible. And today he needed to show up and he certainly did.Comment on this story
"He's a great shot-stopper but his presence has been kind of left wanting every once in a while. And that's what we've been really trying to drive home with him. We have a keeper coach that's working with him and making sure he's focused, and I think today he really showed one of his better games, and he had to against a team like Roy.
"And he stopped some those hard challenges at the end of the game," Bywater said. "When you're up where you are (safely ahead), it's easy to just relax and say it's only one point and we'll just finish out (with a two-goal margin of victory). For him to step up there and take some of those big hits there at the end of the game, that's kinda what we're trying to build here, some of that confidence."