DRAPER If the Utah Salt Ratz were nervous, it didn't show. It may have taken them a few minutes to warm up, but once they got going, it was like trying to stop a freight train. The Men's Premier Soccer League's leading scorers as a team and individual certainly backed up their regular-season crowns. The Utah Salt Ratz overwhelmed the Northern Nevada Aces Saturday night, 9-0, at Juan Diego High School.
KC Nordfors led the league in goals with 13 during the regular season.
The Aces came out with a plan to stop him. Sacrificing a defender, the Aces began the game marking Nordfors man-to-man. They had a defender trailing him everywhere he went. It didn't matter. Sixteen minutes into the contest Jake Huber sent a lofting corner kick toward the back post.
The keeper went up to get it, only Nordfors went up higher and headed the game's opening goal into the net. It was the first of countless offensive strikes for the Salt Ratz.
Nordfors would go on to score on another header in the 28th minute, and he completed the true hat trick after a beautiful assist by Christian Bowers. Bowers took the ball in the box and fed Nordfors in stride at the twelve-yard mark, where Nordors blasted it into the upper corner.
"I was the leading scorer in high school, but we are so stacked as a team that I thought when we got here we would share the scoring a little more," Nordfors said. "My teammates just keep feeding me the ball, and I just happen to be in the right place at the right time."
In this game, the Ratz would share the scoring a little more.
After Nordfors' hat trick, Jake Huber would tally one just before halftime, and Utah would take a comfortable 4-0 lead into the locker room. "We started really slowly. I don't even think we had a shot on goal the first twelve minutes, but after KC got that incredible goal I think it just relaxed us and we just got rolling," said Ratz coach BJ Noble. Roll along they did. In the second half Bryce Stevenson, Andy Oshay, Brent Noble, Bryce Callister, and TJ Waters all found the back of the net.
A nine-goal performance in soccer would equate to about a 100-point performance in football, or a 25-run game in baseball. It just isn't something that is ever expected, especially in the playoffs. Granted, the Ratz scored three of those goals in the final five minutes when it was mop-up time, but still, nine goals.
"It was a total team effort," Noble said. "There were 18 guys out here tonight, and every one of them prepared and played well. We are happy to be where we are considering in our new league the other three semi-finalists all were playing at the DIII level last year and we were just a bunch of college kids."
Two of the former DIII teams were squaring off Saturday night as well.
The Chico Rooks were playing the Arizona Sahuaros. If the Sahuaros won, the Ratz would host the MPSL finals next Saturday at Juan Diego.If the Rooks won, the Ratz will travel to Chico to play in the finals there. In either case, the Salt Ratz will be playing for their first league title next Saturday, and if this game was any indication, they are a force to be reckoned with.
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