OGDEN — Snow Canyon is used to playing on a turf field.
In St. George, said coach Isaac Klingonsmith, all the fields are turf.
Juan Diego, which the Warriors hoped to play in the quarterfinal round, has a turf field, too. But on Thursday, in the first round of the 3A boys soccer playoffs, the Southern Utah squad first had to travel to Ogden and play a Ben Lomond team that’s home field is a little different than the Warriors are used to.
“We don’t play on such large fields and it was really bouncy,” Klingonsmith said of the Scots’ grassy pitch. “It was a little different than we’ve had to adjust to.”
However, Snow Canyon ultimately figured out the atypical surface, edging Ben Lomond, 2-1, with all three goals coming in the final 21 minutes.
“We usually let the ball run and it stops here in the grass,” said Snow Canyon sophomore Angel Muniz, the midfielder who scored the Warriors’ first goal.
“He had a wicked shot that went off the top crossbar,” Klingonsmith said of the goal. Muniz then added, “I kinda took it away from a player, had no one to pass it to, so I cut in and took the shot and was hoping it went in.”
The Scots responded just moments later, tying the score on a goal by Rodrigo Aviles that was assisted by Brandon Vazquez. However, the Warriors regained the lead in the 66th minute when junior Jonathan Tuscano connected with senior defender Chase Jenkins.
“(Tuscano) basically shot it, or passed it, far post and Chase cleaned it up,” Klingonsmith said, “and he was pretty proud because it was with his left foot, which he lacks in that area.”
It was a lively second half after a very quiet opening 40 minutes. Snow Canyon controlled the possession for much of the first half until the Scots took over the momentum behind the play of sophomore defender Jacob Jenson.
Following a halftime talk, the Warriors surged again and held the possession for the majority of the second half.
“We just went over what we needed to fix, and the players executed that,” Klingonsmith said. “It’s little things that we asked the players to do and they stepped up and continued to win the ball and did well.”
“It was a physical game and each team had a lot of chances,” the coach said. “I felt that we deserved to win. We played a little harder, got more chances than they did. It was a good game.”
The Warriors will remain in town awaiting their Saturday afternoon contest with Juan Diego, which defeated Richfield 12-0 in the first round.
Sarah Thomas earned a degree in Mathematics from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MBA at Westminster College. She has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.
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